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Full text of "Family selection on a federal reclamation project : Tule Lake division of the Klamath irrigation project, Oregon-California"

Historic, archived document 

Do not assume content reflects current 
scientific knowledge, policies, or practices. 



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UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 

■J :j' the farm security administration 

AND 

THE BUREAU OF AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS 
COOPERATING 



amily Selection on a Federal Reclamation Project - 
Tule Lake Division of the Klamath Irrigation 
Project, Oregon-California 




BY MARIE JASNY 



SOCIAL RESEARCH REPORT NO. V 



WASHINGTON, D, C. , JUNE 1938 



In order that administrators might be supplied with needed informa- 
tion concerning the problems and conditions with which its program is con- 
cerned, the Resettlement Administration (absorbed September 1, 1937,, by the 
Farm Security Administration) with the cooperation of the Bureau of Agri- 
cultural Economics conducted a number of research investigations. This 
is one of a series of reports on these researches. Others will be made 
available to administrators of programs for the welfare of rural people 
as rapidly as they are completed. Reports to be issued, as planned at this 
time, include: 

I. An Analysis of Methods and Criteria Used in Selecting Families for 
Colonization Projects, by John B. Holt. 
II. Tenure of Nev/ Agricultural Holdings in Several European Countries, 
by Erich Kraemer, 

III. Living Conditions and Population Migration in Four Appalachian 
Counties, by L. S, Dodson. 
IV. Social Status and Farm Tenure - Attitudes and Social Conditions of 
Corn Belt and Cotton Belt Farmers, by E. A. Schuler. 
V. Family Selection on a Federal Reclamation Project - Tule Lake Di- 
vision of the Klamath Irrigation Project, Oregon-California, by 
Marie Jasny. 

VI. A Basis for Social Planning in Coffee County, Alabama, by Karl Shafer. 
VII. Influence of Drought and Depression on a Rural Community - A Case 
Study in Haskell County, Kansas, by A. D. Edwards. 
VIII. Disadvantaged Classes in American Agriculture, by Carl C. Taylor, 
Helen W. Wheeler, and E. L. Kirkpatrick. 
IX. Analysis of 70,000 Rural Rehabilitation Families, by E. L. Kirk- 
patrick. 

X. Standards of Living in Four Southern Appalachian Mountain Counties, 
by C. P. Loomis and L. S. Dodson. 
XI. Standards of Living of the Residents of Seven Rural Resettlement 
Communities, by C. P. Loomis and Dwight M. Davidson, Jr. 
XII. The Standard of Living of Farm and Village Families in Six South 
Dakota Counties, 1935, by W. F. Kumlien, C. P. Loomis, et. al . (Pub- 
lished by the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station, Brook- 
ings, South Dakota.) 
XIII. Standards of Living in the Great Lakes Cut-Over Area, by C. P. Loomis, 
Joseph J. Lister, and Dwight M. Davidson, Jr. 
XIV. Standards of Living in an Indian-Mexican Village and on a Reclamation 
Project, by C. P. Loomis and 0. E. Leonard. 
XV. Standards of Living in Six Virginia Counties, by C. P. Loomis and 
B. L. Hummel. 

XVI. Social Relationships and Institutions in an Established Rurban Com- 
munity, South Holland, Illinois, by L. S. Dodson. 
XVII. Migration and Mobility of Rural Population in the United States, by 
Conrad Taeuber and C. E. Lively. 
XVIII. Social Relationships and Institutions in Seven New Rural Communities, 
by C. P. Loomis. 



CONTENTS 

Page 

Chapter I. INTRODUCTION 1 

Chapter II. BACKGROUND AND SELECTION PROCEDURE 3 

Location and Economic Conditions 3 

Family Selection Method of the Bureau of 

Reclamation 5 

Family Selection for the Tule Lake 

Division in 1927 9 

Chapter III. RELATION BETWEEN THE INITIAL RATINGS AND 

LATER DEVELOPMENT OF THE SETTLERS 12 

Initial Ratings as Related to the 

Demonstrated Quality of the Settlers 13 

Initial Ratings as Related to Later 

Stability of the Settlers 26 

Chapter IV. VARIOUS OCCUPATIONAL BACKGROUNDS AS RELATED 

TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE SETTLERS 30 

Chapter V. REASONS FOR INSTABILITY ON THE PROJECT 35 

Background Factors of General Importance 36 

Individual Reasons for Sales of Homesteads 42 

Individual Reasons for Habitual Leasing 49 

Chapter VI. REASONS FOR THE SUCCESS OR FAILURE OF THOSE 

WHO REMAIN 51 

Chapter VII. RELATION BETWEEN REASONS FOR INSTABILITY AND 

CRITERIA APPLIED IN SELECTION 56 

Chapter VIII. GENERAL CONCLUSIONS 62 

Appendix. SUPPLEMENTARY TABLES 67 

METHODOLOGICAL NOTE 78 

MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS 81 



Acknowledgment is made of collaboration in planning 
and in completing this study by members of the Bureau of 
Reclamation, U. S. Department of the Interior - especially to 
George 0. Sanford, Director of Division of Operation and 
Maintenance, in Washington; to B. E. Hayden, Project Super- 
intendent, W. L, Tingley, Chief Clerk, and E. L. Stevens, 
Associate Engineer, all of the Klamath Falls project; to 
C. A. Henderson, County Agent, Klamath Falls; and to W. F. 
Fruits, banker, in Merrill, Oregon. Thanks are due, more- 
over, to many of the interviewed families for their co- 
operation . 



FOREWORD 



This is the second report of this series on family selection, the 
first being Social Research Report No. I, An Analysis of Methods and 
Criteria Used in Selecting Families for Colonization Projects, by John 
B. Holt. Information presented in the first report was obtained largely 
from secondary sources. The information contained in this report was 
gathered by the author in a field study of the Tule Lake Division of 
the Klamath Falls Reclamation Project in northeastern California. 

Settlers entered upon this reclamation project almost a decade 
ago, and have apparently had experiences typical of other planned and 
promoted communities. Some of them have failed, some of them have suc- 
ceeded beyond their own expectations and the expectations of those who 
selected them. It was felt that a study of their successes and failures 
would be of value in projecting and guiding future resettlement or coloni- 
zation projects. 

The criteria and methods used in the selection of settlers who were 
entering upon this project, and the categorical ranking of these settlers 
at the time of first occupancy, were made available to the author. 
Therefore, she had the opportunity to appraise the worth of these cri- 
teria and methods in terms of the attainments of the individual settlers 
and of the community as a whole. 



CARL C. TAYLOR 

In Charge, Division of Farm Population 
and Rural Life, Bureau of Agricultural 
Economics; and Social Research Section, 
Farm Security Administration. 



Chapter I 



INTRODUCTION 



Problems of family selection have an important bearing on the suc- 
cess of projects of the Resettlement Administration. 1/ Because of this 
fact it was decided to study methods and criteria of selection as prac- 
ticed by an agency of the Federal Government that has had considerable 
experience in this field. 

To make a study of this sort, it was essential to single out a pro- 
ject where a large group of homesteaders chosen by a specific method of 
family selection had been admitted at one time. Furthermore, settlement 
must have been accomplished sufficiently long ago to permit an evaluation 
of the results of selection. The project also had to be one that offered 
more or less equal economic opportunities to individual members of the 
group. 

The Tule Lake Division of the Klamath Federal Irrigation Project of 
the United States Bureau of Reclamation fulfilled the necessary require- 
ments, It was settled in 1927 by 146 homesteaders to whom a definite 
selective technique had been applied. This made possible a 9-year period 
of observation, about the maximum that could be found anywhere. The 
quality of the soil was approximately uniform and water was abundant,, 
thereby assuring the homesteaders economic opportunities that were fairly 
equal. The chief inequality lay in the fact that the homesteads 
varied in size from 40 to more than 80 acres, v/hich was more than neces- 
sary to compensate for such slight differences in soil quality as did 
exist . 

The primary object of this study is necessarily to answer the narrow 
question: "What was the value of the particular device used under the 
particular conditions of irrigation homesteading?" Even this question 
can be answered only by comparing the actual results of selection with the 
probable results had selection been lacking, for no second method was 
employed under similar conditions to afford another comparison. Moreover, 
this comparison cannot take into account the silent elimination that took, 
place through the mere announcement of the selection requirements. 

The disparity in the aim, the human material involved, and the pro- 
cesses of selection between a western irrigation project and projects of 
other types gives rise to the question whether results drawn from the one 
can be applied to the others. 

So far as the comparison between Reclamation and Resettlement Pro- 
jects is concerned, there is above all the fundamental difference that 
Resettlement projects are planned to assist a definite group of people, 
while no such aim is involved in Reclamation settlement policies. A 
Resettlement project is laid out, for instance, to provide more wholesome 



1/ The Resettlement Administration was succeeded by the Farm Security 
Administration, September 1, 1937. 



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living conditions for a group of stranded miners, or of families removed 
from submarginal lands, or of rural industrial workers with seasonal em- 
ployment too short to provide the year-round family living. Reclamation, 
on the other hand, is based on a general philosophy of making potential 
natural resources effective and, by doing so, strengthening the economic 
and social structure of the arid and semi-arid regions. For this broad 
general purpose, it does not matter from what layers of the population 
or from what geographical areas the immediate settler material is drawn, 
provided it is able to develop the land and thus serve the ultimate aim. 
In brief, Resettlement needs land to help people, while Reclamation needs 
people to help the land. 

This basic difference of approach, however, has only a slight bear- 
ing on the applicability of the results of family selection on a Recla- 
mation project to projects of the Resettlement and similar types. It is 
reflected in the Reclamation technique by absence of eligibility rules 
concerning residence in a definite area, neediness, or previous or present 
occupation. Instead, the circle of applicants is delimited solely from 
the point of view of future project development. Otherwise, the tech- 
niques of selection on all kinds of projects have very much in common. 
In the first place, the problem of selection - singling out the most 
promising applicants from a group already delimited in view of the spe- 
cific kind of settlement - is always the same. If, therefore, analysis 
of an individual example demonstrates that selection is better than no 
selection, it strengthens the conviction that selection in general is 
worth while, provided the technique fits the purpose of the particular 
type of settlement as well as it did in the instance investigated. Se- 
cond, certain important criteria used in settler selection, although 
varying in emphasis, recur in almost every instance. Among the most im- 
portant of these are farming experience, capital, health, and certain 
character qualifications. Observations on the significance of these 
criteria can be utilized to a certain degree even though the conditions 
differ from those of the example studied. Third, the technical devices 
in selection methods are extremely limited in number. The most important 
ones are the home interview, the office interview by an individual or a 
board, and references, the results of which are recorded in narrative 
form, or by checking of preformulated answers, or by rating scales. 
Observations on the reliability of these technical elements are rather 
freely applicable to any method that makes use of the same elements. 
These considerations tie up the following analysis of a particular in- 
stance of selection with selection in general. 



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Chapter II 

BACKGROUND AND SELECTION PROCEDURE 

L ocation and Economic Conditions 

The Klamath Irrigation Project forms the prosperous farming center 
of the Klamath Basin, one of the most important sheep and cattle grazing 
areas of the West. It is situated on the Klamath Plateau at about 
4,000 feet elevation. Its northern part lies in south central Oregon 
(Klamath County) , and its southern part in northern California (Siskiyou 
and Modoc Counties) , The Tule Lake Division of the project was developed 
south of the older Main Division after the World War. 

Located in the lake bed of former Lake Tule, which was dried up in 
the reclamation process, the division has extremely fertile alluvial 
soils. 2/ Its principal crops are alfalfa, grain, and potatoes. Yields 
of alfalfa vary from 3 to 6 tons per acre, wheat from 20 to 50 bushels, 
barley from 30 to 60 bushels, and potatoes from 125 to 300 bushels. 3/ 
Alfalfa and grain production predominated during the period of early 
settlement, but the area has lately taken up potato growing on a large 
scale. Potato growing on the homesteads was initiated largely by renters 
coming in from the outside on either a cash-rent or crop-share basis. 
The large profits that these renters realized from the land built up 
through 4 or 5 years in alfalfa induced the homesteaders themselves to 
"go into the potato business." Today, after 3 years of intensive potato 
cultivation and resultant soil depletion, many of the farmers find that 
their land must be turned back to alfalfa. Since returns from alfalfa 
are incomparably lower than returns from potatoes, the most progressive 
farmers are experimenting with crops that can be used to replace potatoes 
without sacrificing the large proceeds realized during the last few years. 
(See Fig. 1 and Table 26; Tables 17 to 27 are in the Appendix.) Possibly 
the substitute will be found in grass and clover seeds grown on a large 
scale. 

Thus, many farms operate today under a 2-crop system of alfalfa 
and potatoes. Some farmers have no livestock, and many of them have 



2/ A broad strip of fertile irrigated land adjoining the homesteads and 
lying at the northern and eastern borders of the so-called "sump," the 
remainder of former Tule Lake, is leased out, usually in large plots of 
thousands of acres, by the Bureau of Reclamation. Secret bids govern the 
award of the 5-year contracts. To operate on this land is a risky busi- 
ness, for in years of supernormal precipitation the dams sometimes break 
and the area is flooded. For this reason, the operation of the "lease 
land" is mostly restricted to the larger farms of the surrounding area, 
and only a few of the homesteaders participate. 

3/ Federal Reclamation Projects, U. S. Department of the Interior, 
Bureau of Reclamation, October 1935, p. 77. 



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TOTAL IRRIGATED CROP ACREAGE (THOUSANDS OF ACRES) 
3 6 9 12 15 



18 



1926 
1931 
1936 



PERCENT DISTRIBUTION OF IRRIGATED ACREAGE IN PRINCIPAL CROPS 
20 40 60 80 



100 




U. S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE NEC. 329BO BUREAU OF AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS 

Fig. I.'- Total irrigated crop acreage and acreage in various 

CROPS, TuLE Lake Division of the Klamath Irrigation 

Project, 1926, 1931, and 1936 



- 5 - 



only a few cows and pigs for home use. Greater diversification and a 
better balance between livestock and crops is maintained, however, by the 
more cautious and conservative farmers. Those of Bohemian descent, par- 
ticularly, (see page 10) cling traditionally to a more diversified system. 

Interspersed between the farms with a 2-crop or a more diversified 
farming system are some units serving as winter-feed bases for the sheep- 
men and stockmen of the area. When range privileges to sheepmen were made 
dependent upon ownership of sufficient winter-feed bases, some of these 
operators took up homesteads. They were admitted to the project largely 
because they were expected to supply a demand for the alfalfa grown by 
other farmers. But public range conditions around the project are so 
favorable that, unless the winter is very hard, sheep owners with well- 
organized businesses not only need no additional hay but even have al- 
falfa of their own for sale. The area is overstocked with sheep, how- 
ever, and the less clever and less businesslike sheepmen lose out in the 
competition for the public range. They are forced to resort to expensive 
private range, and often to use their alfalfa for supplementary feeding. 

Finally, a few specialized dairy farmers are on the project. As a 
result of reverses suffered during the depression, dairying has become 
less widespread in recent years. Dairying to meet the needs of the pro- 
ject is carried on mainly as a sideline of the more diversified farming 
enterprises . 

Although the crop acreage has been expanded since 1930 by approxi- 
mately 4,000 acres, or 33 percent, and although the entire increase has 
been utilized to expand potato growing, the number of workstock has been 
at a standstill during recent years. This has resulted from a precipitate 
wave of mechanization of farm power. The use of tractors for large-scale 
grain-growing on the "lease land" (see footnote 2, p. 3) probably has en- 
couraged purchases of tractors by the homesteaders. This development may 
be one of the reasons for a marked concentration of homestead ownership 
on the project. 

Family Selection Method of the Bureau of Reclamation 

The Bureau of Reclamation introduced a method of family selection 
for its homesteaders because of unsatisfactory conditions that had come 
about on a number of Federal reclamation projects. Lack of capital and 
lack of farming experience on the part of the homesteaders had in many 
instances so retarded project development, that, years after settle- 
ment, large portions of the irrigable land still remained unprepared for 
irrigation. Many settlers therefore could not meet construction pay- 
ments, thus augmenting the burden for others who were jointly liable 
with them for such charges. As a consequence, numerous farms v/ere aban- 
doned. Tenantry, largely under corporations, assumed considerable pro- 
portions, and many families, having invested all their small capital in 
the development of their homesteads without being able to bring them 



- 6 - 



to full earning capacity, found themselves in despair. 4/ 

The late Elwood Mead, Commissioner of Reclamation, proposed a pro- 
gram to forestall the recurrence of such socially and economically dis- 
astrous developments. In principle, he favored delivering ready-made 
farms instead of unprepared land to settlers. Thus the homesteaders, 
launched immediately upon the work they understood, could obtain some farm 
income from the very first year. Moreover, such a practice would save 
them much expense in that it would eliminate purchases of machinery neces- 
sary to prepare the ground for use but unnecessary for regular farm oper- 
ations. In the event that this change of policy should be considered too 
sweeping, Commissioner Mead proposed that sufficient development credit, 
at least, should be provided. Other features of the program were the 
provision for permanent technical advice, and, above all, the introduction 
of "selective settlement" in order to exclude from the outset persons whose 
lack of farming experience would inevitably destine them to become mis- 
fits. 5/ The findings and recommendations of a special committee in- 
vestigating the soundness of Reclamation policies, submitted in the so- 
called "Fact-Finders' Report," strongly supported his program. 6/ 

The primary aim of selective settlement, therefore, was to bring in 
settlers with sufficient capital and farming experience to assure rapid 
development of the irrigable land into well-organized farm units. Since 
the provision of homes for stable farm families is a recognized purpose 
of Federal Reclamation, a secondary aim was to secure residents who would 
be permanent. Instability of the original homesteaders is particularly 
undesirable because it results in the reaping of the homesteading benefits 
by speculative elements, while the stable farmers who come on the farms 
through purchases from the original homesteaders are forced to shoulder 
an additional burden from the outset. 

Although both aims were stressed in the discussion preceding the 



4/ Mead, Elwood. What Federal Reclamation Should Include. Agricul- 
tural Engineering, July 1926, p. 237. 

5/ Ibid. , p. 237. See there the description of conditions on the 
Belle Fourche Project: 

"These things (certain farming activities) are only done, however, 
by good farmers, and unfortunately many of the first settlers on this 
project were miners, city clerks, deep-sea divers, itinerant baseball 
players - a collection of heterogeneous occupations as far removed from 
good farmers as could be conceived. As a result, at the end of 15 years, 
there are 70 empty houses and a large number of fertile but abandoned 
farms. Much of this land is now owned by mortgage and trust companies 
which for a long time hoped that buyers would come and agricultural de- 
velopment automatically take place." 

6/ U. S. Congress, 68th Congress, first session. Committee of Special 
Advisers on Reclamation, Senate Document No. 92, Federal Reclamation by 
Irrigation, Washington, D. C, 1924, pp. 91-97. 



- 7 - 



adoption of a selective settlement policy, the method actually devised 
in 1926 emphasized the ability of the applicants to develop the homesteaded 
land rather than the intensity of their desire to farm the homesteads 
permanently. This was particularly due to skepticism as to whether the 
longing to own a farm home and the willingness to undergo hardships for it 
were capable of accurate diagnosis. Still it appears that even what little 
might have been done to insure stability on the homesteads was neglected 
because of the defeatist attitude regarding such efforts. Certain types 
of applicants - for instance, professional men unwilling to give up their 
occupations - were not excluded even though they were almost certain to 
leave or lease out their holdings after a short time. 

The selection procedure devised did not aim explicitly at getting 
public-spirited citizens for the prospective community. However, in- 
clusion of a rating on "character" was indicative of a desire to bring 
respectable families to the project; and there may have been a subcon- 
scious expectation that persons who would discharge promptly their obli- 
gations toward the Bureau of Reclamation would also make worthwhile 
citizens. 

From these considerations a relatively simple rating system emerged, 
based on individual ratings for farm experience, capital, industry, and 
character. An Examining Board consisting of three members appointed by 
the Secretary of the Interior does the rating. The basis for the ratings 
is provided by statements from the applicants as to their farming experi- 
ence and capital, by information furnished by references, and by personal 
impressions obtained when the applicants appear before the Examining 
Board. 7/ 

Minimum requirements include 2 years' farming experience and $2,000 
unencumbered capital or its equivalent in assets useful for future farm- 
ing, such as farm machinery and livestock. Statements from applicants re- 
garding health sufficient for farm work are required, but no effort is 
made to verify these statements. 

Thus sections 6, 7, and 9 of the Public Notice opening the 1927 
Tule Lake Homesteads for entry read as follows: 

6. Applicants must be qualified . - No entry shall be accepted by the 
local land office until applicant therefor has satisfied the Examining 
Board, appointed for the Klamath project to consider such matters, that 
he is possessed of such qualifications (in addition to the qualifications 
required under the homestead laws), as to industry, experience, character, 
and capital, as in the opinion of the board are necessary to give reason- 
able assurance of success by the prospective settler. 

7 . Requirements as to industry, experience, character, and capital . - 
Each applicant must possess health and vigor, and have had at least two 



U See application blanks and reference sheets in the Appendix. 



- 8 - 



years' actual experience in farm work and farm practice. He must have at 
least $2,000 in money free of liability, or the equivalent thereof in 
livestock, farming equipment, or other assets deemed by the Examining 
Board to be as useful to the applicant as money. 

9 . Determining by the board of the relative standing of applicants , - 
The relative standing of the applicants will be based upon a percentage 
rating; each of the qualifications, industry, experience, character, and 
capital will be considered as having a possible weight of 25 per cent. 
Applicants will be rated according to the following scale, and no appli- 
cant will be considered eligible who falls below the minimum named in any 
one of the headings in this scale; or who does not, in the opinion of the 
board, possess the health and vigor necessary for active farm work. 



Industry Per- Farm Per- Per- 

cent experience cent Character cent 



Per- 

Capital cent 



Fair 



Good 



Excellent 



15 



25 



(2 years or 
more in farming 
other than by 
irrigation) 
(2 years or 
more in irri- 
gation) 



15 Fair 



25 Good 



15 



Excellent 25 



$2,000 



$5,000 



15 



$3,000 20 



25 



The reference sheets, generally sent out to three references given 
by the applicant and sometimes to his local banker as well, contain the 
following questions: 

What is the applicant's occupation? 
What farming experience has he had? 
Has he been successful as a farmer? 
Is he industrious? 

Is the applicant in your opinion qualified to 
undertake the development of a homestead on a Federal 
irrigation project? 

Is the applicant responsible to the extent that 
he discharges his obligations promptly? 

What is his general reputation and standing in 
the community in which he resides? 

Add any other facts relative to his fitness to 
undertake the development of a farm on a Federal 
irrigation project. 

An accompanying letter asks, furthermore, whether the applicant can 
meet the required minimum of $2,000 capital. 

The Bureau of Reclamation recognizes that this method of selection 
is rather elementary. Reliable ratings on "industry" and character" 



- 9 - 



are hard to obtain because the selection board has no way of establish- 
ing real acquaintanceship with the applicants and therefore can hardly 
reach a reliable decision on these psychological criteria. The references, 
upon which the board must rely to some extent, are usually friends of the 
applicant, and the questions put before them are so general that little 
valuable information can be expected. Nevertheless, this simple method 
worked with surprising efficiency in the instance investigated. This 
fact invites conjecture concerning the need for and value of more elab- 
orate schemes . 

Family Selection for the Tule Lake Division inl927 

When the first series of 174 farm units of the Tule Lake Division 
was opened to entry in 1922, the exceptional quality of the land was un- 
known. A 30-days ' preference right for veterans applied to these open- 
ings, but the veterans were not particularly eager to take up the home- 
steads, Moreover, trouble arose over the question of the construction 
payments, which considerably exceeded those on the Main Division of the 
Klamath Project. The public notice that opened entry, therefore, was sus- 
pended in January 1923. although only 65 homesteads with an irrigable area 
of 3,200 acres had been filed upon. 

The next public notice, issued in January 1927, cancelled the 
former one. but opened to entry on a water-rental basis 57 of the units 
remaining from 1922, and 88 new ones. These 145 units comprised approx- 
imately 8,000 acres. Construction payments were to be started at $88.35 
per acre, payable without interest over a period of 40 years, beginning 
when "agricultural development has advanced sufficiently to permit of a 
district organization." Should the water users fail to organize into a 
district, the construction charge would be $100.05, payable in 20 years. 
The operation and maintenance charge was set at $1.85 for 2 acre-feet of 
water. Additional water would be available at a charge of 75 cents 
per acre-foot, but actually it was almost never required, 8/ 

General requirements for horaesteading were the same as for all 
other Federal Reclamation projects. During the first 3 years the settler 
must reside on the homestead for 7 months out of every 12. Within 
this period, he must make certain soil improvements and build a resi- 
dence; however, a flimsy shack will meet the housing requirements. After 
this he may offer "first proof." At any time subsequently, he may ob- 
tain patent; that is, he may clear his title by offering second proof to 



8/ Aside from a small initial payment made by the 1922 group, no con- 
struction charge has been paid to this date. The organization of the dis- 
trict was expected to take place in 1937. Since the proceeds from the 
lease land are credited to the water users against the construction charge , 
actual payments on construction will be much lower than was originally 
announced, and perhaps none at all will be necessary. 



- 10 - 



the effect that he has raised satisfactory crops on at least half of the 
irrigable land during the 2 years immediately preceding. This second 
proof must be presented within 5 years from the date of filing. Under 
the veterans' preference right, even these relatively easy requirements 
are considerably modified; ex-soldiers with 2 years' service may prove up 
after only 1 year if they have produced satisfactory crops on one-half 
of their land. 

A veterans' preference right of 12 days applied to 56 of the 57 
units remaining from the 1922 opening, and one of 30 days to the 88 
new ones. 9/ Again the veterans showed slight enthusiasm. There were 
no roads, no railroads, no water supply, and no electricity. There were 
only bare lands partially covered with saltgrass and other weeds, which 
after breaking would turn into a fine gray powder, relentlessly blanketing 
everything in the dust storms frequent during planting season. Even though 
5 years had passed since the first opening, the quality of this powder was 
not appreciated. As a consequence, only 57 veterans had filed upon 
homesteads when the preference right expired. The other units were taken 
by civilians, some not being filed upon until 1929. In a word, "the land 
went begging." Those most eager to acquire the homesteads were the people 
from the surrounding area, to whom the attributes of the soil were no 
secret . 

A very heterogeneous group finally filled the 1927 openings. 
There were engineers from Missouri, farmers from Wisconsin, oil workers 
from Texas, and lumbermen from Oregon and Washington. A comparatively 
large number were farmers or sons of farmers and stockmen from adjacent 
counties. Two small groups were sharply defined as to national character. 
The first of these consisted of Bohemians who came from a settlement 
founded in 1909 at the northeast corner of the present project. Sheep- 
men of Irish nationality comprised the other. 

Sometimes the older Bohemians took the homesteads for themselves, 
planning to transfer them later to sons who were not yet grown. Others 
who had grown-up sons encouraged them to apply and equipped them with the 
capital needed for the venture. Since these people enjoyed an excellent 
reputation as industrious and thrifty farmers, they were gladly ad- 
mitted. They possessed agreeable social traits such as humor and musical 
talent. Except for a few failures, members of the second generation 
in particular amply fulfilled the expectations they aroused. Combining 
the efficiency of their fathers with an American education, they are 
today among the most prosperous and most respected farmers on the project. 

The Irish sheepmen were for the most part without farming ex- 
perience, and were estranged from community life by many years of sheep- 
herding. Thus they were not particularly fitted for homesteading. 
The disastrous fall of sheep prices from $11.50 per head in 1928 to 



9/ One homestead of the 1922 group is not included here because its 
allotment involved certain legal complications. 



- 11 - 



$2.50 in 1932 (Table 27) has since ruined many of them, and their finan- 
cial plight has lowered them in the estimation of their more fortunate 
fellow-homesteaders , 

The fact that there was a pressing need to dispose of the home- 
steads, many of them having lain ready for entry since 1922, led to 
the acceptance of practically all who applied. The selection board 
comprised the superintendent of the Klamath Project (since replaced), 
a local banker, and the county agent for Klamath County. Their main 
concern at the time was - and admittedly under similar conditions again 
would be - to get the land in cultivation as fast as possible, regardless 
of the quality of applicants. For this reason, a number of persons were 
admitted whose future success was doubtful from the beginning. For the 
same reason, the examination on farming experience was little more than a 
formality. 

In 1931, when a realization of the actual value of the land at- 
tracted many more applicants than there were homesteads, selection 
could, and did, proceed along much stricter lines. 10/ It might seem, 
therefore, that an analysis of selection in 1931 rather than in 1927 
would have furnished a better picture of the method at work. 

Closer examination proves, however, that the exact opposite is 
true. If any applicants had been excluded, we would have records of 
their ratings but could not know how they would have compared with those 
who were selected. The very fact that the 1927 material includes all_ 
applicants, even those who would have been rejected under more rigid 
standards, enables us to test much better the value of the rating method 
and the work of the board. It is now known what became of all applicants 
and v/hat qualifications they later demonstrated. But this advantage 
is gained at a price, since the range of the ratings in 1927 was accord- 
ingly narrow. Probably, too, the task of rating was not performed as 
meticulously as would have been the case had the number of applications 
been large. But it will be shown later that even these narrowly placed 
and relatively lenient ratings, when set in relation with the later de- 
velopment of the homesteaders, lead to the inference that, had the num- 
ber of applicants permitted an elimination of those with low ratings, 
the result would have been beneficial. 



10/ How enormously the appreciation of Tule Lake homesteads has in- 
creased in recent years is expressed by the ratio of applications to 
available homesteads in 1937. On September 9, 1937, notice was issued 
that on October 25, 1937, 69 additional homesteads would be opened on 
the Tule Lake Division. Almost 1,500 applications for these units 
were received on October 25, and subsequent applications brought the total 
to about 1,800. Similar occurrences have happened in recent years on 
other Federal Reclamation projects, indicating that the exceptionally 
favorable natural conditions of the Tule Lake Division do not alone ac- 
count for this change of attitude. 



- 12 - 



Chapter III 

RELATION BETWEEN THE INITIAL RATINGS AND LATER DEVELOPMENT 

, OF THE SETTLERS 

The following analysis deals with the accuracy with which the home- 
steaders' later development on the project was forecast in the ratings 
given in selection, A high degree of correlation between the two would 
warrant the conclusion that, had applications been more numerous than 
homesteads, the selection method would have been capable of excluding the 
less qualified applicants. 

The analysis falls into two parts. First, a comparison is made of 
the ratings given the applicants in 1927 and 1928 by the selection board 
(hereafter called "initial ratings") and the demonstrated quality of the 
homesteaders, expressed by re-ratings obtained for the entire group in 
1936 (hereafter called "final ratings"). Second, the initial ratings are 
compared with the settlers' stability, expressed by the fact whether, in 
1936, they v/ere still operating their homesteads, had become habitual 
lessors, or had sold out in the meantime. 11/ 

The re-ratings on "quality" of 1936 viere given separately for suc- 
cess, effort, and social standing in the community. The ratings are "1" 
(excellent), "2" (medium or average), and "3" (poor). The rating on 
social standing cannot directly serve as a test of the value of the se- 
lection method, as the latter did not explicitly consider citizenship 
qualities. But it was thought that an analysis showing how closely the 
degree of com.munity spirit, later demonstrated, was contingent upon the 
farming and character qualifications covered by the method might prove 
valuable . 

The analysis of the data thus obtained could not make use of mathe- 
matical correlation methods, For one, the initial ratings, v/hich were 
known before the field survey was made, showed heavily skewed distri- 
butions, and similar distributions were expected for the final ratings. 
This expectation turned out to be true later on. The results of mathe- 
matical correlation between variables thus distributed would not only have 
been of little value but might have been actually misleading. Secondly, 
it would have been extremely difficult to get the members of the re- 
rating committee (See Appendix, Methodological Note) together for such a 
considerable number of sessions as would have been necessary to establish 
ratings as finely graded as the initial ones. It was even doubtful 
whether such ratings would have been very reliable, particularly as far 
as the group of settlers who had sold out in the meantime was concerned. 
It was considered advisable, therefore, to let the re-rating consist only 



11/ A detailed presentation as to how the necessary data were obtained, 
including some observations on the reaction of the settlers while the 
survey was being made, is given in the Methodological Note in the Appendix. 



- 13 - 



of a rough division of the settlers into three quality groups. The ap- 
praisal of stability likewise could consist only of a division of the 
settlers into the three groups of those who, in 1936, still operated their 
homesteads, those who had become habitual lessors, and those who had sold 
their homesteads. Accordingly, the statistical treatment could be carried 
only to the construction of contingency tables and the corresponding per- 
centage distributions. All conclusions had to be derived directly from 
these tables. It is felt that the non-mathematical treatment is better 
adapted to the type of data, and that the resulting presentation of the 
full material reveals certain interesting details which might have been 
submerged in the usual presentation of the results of mathematical cor- 
relation. 

Initial Ratings as Related to Demonstrated Q.uality of the Settlers 

The comparison between the initial ratings and the final ratings, 
made in an effort to discover how the expectations placed in the indi- 
viduals of the selected group were borne out by facts, is the core of this 
study. As final ratings could be obtained for the settlers who had left 
the project as well as for those who remained on it, it was possible to 
subject the entire original group to this analysis. The period covered 
by the final ratings thus took in at least 9 years for the members of 
Groups A and B (owners who were stable, and habitual lessors). For the 
members of Group C it was the time which elapsed between the settling and 
the disposing of the homestead. This period varied from 1 to 9 years, 
but as most of the sales took place rather recently, it was generally 
6 or 7 years at least. 

The original selection procedure of the Bureau of Reclamation, as 
applied in 1927, provided for separate ratings on farm experience, capi- 
tal, industry, and character. Ratings ranged between a minimum of 15 and 
a maximum of 25 points for farm experience and capital, and between 5 and 
25 for industry and character. 12/ Theoretically, therefore, total rat- 
ings could vary between 40 and 100. In practice, the Tule Lake selection 
board ranked nobody lower than 15 for industry and character, and no one 
below 70 for the total score. The scarcity of applicants evidently was 
responsible for this narrow range. 

In the following tables, these initial ratings are grouped by class 
intervals of five points for the total ratings and by class intervals of 
2.5 points for the ratings on experience, capital, industry, and char- 



12/ Several years later, a revision of the procedure lowered the maximum 
of the industry and character ratings to 15 and raised the maximum of the 
experience and capital ratings to 35. Furthermore, a definite scale for 
rating on experience and capital was introduced. Maximum ratings on capi- 
tal were to be given for a capital of $10,000 instead of $5,000 as before. 



- 14 - 



Table 1.- Relation between total initial ratings and final ratings 
on success and effort l/ 



Percentage distribution of those •whose final rating on 



Initial ratings 


: Total 




Success was: 






Effort iras 








1 


: 2 : 


S : 


1 


: 2 


5 






(Good) 


: (Mediocre) : 


(Poor) 


(Good) 


t (Mediocre) 


(Poor) 


Total 


100 


100 


100 


100 


100 


100 


100 


Total rating: 
















70 - 75 


3 




5 


6 




5 


7 


75,01 - 80 


5 


3 


5 


12 


2 


5 


20 


80.01 - 85 


14 


8 


16 


32 


8 


15 


33 


85.01 - 90 


22 


18 


28 


19 


18 


32 




90.01 - 95 


22 


23 


22 


19 


22 


22 


20 


95.01 -100 


54 


48 


24 


12 


50 


21 


20 



(For absoltrte numbers, see Table 17,) 

l/ Percentages are based on totals with equal final ratings instead of totals 
with equal initial ratings, because otherwise the bases would have been exceed- 
ingly small for most groups. The same applies to the following table. For per- 
centages computed horizontally, see Table 24. 



Table 2.- Relation between total initial ratings and final ratings 

on social standing 



Initial ratings 




Percentage distribution of those whose rating 

on social standing ttes - 

1 5 1 S 



(Outstanding) 



(Average) 



(Undesirable) 



Total 



100 



100 



100 



100 



Total rating; 



70 - 75 


3 




2 


8 


75,01 - 80 


5 




6 


8 


80.01 - 85 


14 


4 


13 


29 


85.01 - 90 


22 


18 


22 


25 


90.01 - 95 


22 


11 


27 


17 


95.01 -100 


34 


67 


30 


13 



(For absolute numbers, see Table l7.) 



Table 3.- Relation between initial ratings and average final ratings 







Weighted average final rating 


on - 


Initial ratings ' 






• J 


Combined 






• bociai :6uccess, eiiort, and 




Success 


: Effort 


: standing : 


social standing 


Total rating: 










70 - 75 


2.25 


2.25 


2.50 


2,33 


75.01 - 80 


2,00 


2.29 


2.29 


2.19 


80.01 - 85 


2.00 


2.00 


2.32 


2.11 


85.01 - 90 


1.73 


1.63 


2.03 


1.80 


90.01 - 95 


1.63 


1.63 


2.03 


1.77 


95.01 -100 


1.39 


1.39 


1.67 


1.49 



4 



(See also Table 21.) 



- 15 - 



acter. (See Tables 1. 2. 17, and 18 ) In addition to the final ratings 
of 1, 2, and 3, seven typical cofflbinations of the final ratings were 
formed, establishing a declining scale of qualifications on the basis of 
an individual's capacities as a farmer and his standing in the community. 
This scale includes the following sub-classifications: Good farmer, out- 
standing citizen; good farmer, normal citizen; average farmer, outstanding 
citizen; average farmer, normal citizen; average farmer, undesirable 
citizen; bad farmer, normal citizen; and bad farm.er. undesirable citi- 
zen. Non-typical combinations, such as "good farmer, undesirable citi- 
zen," or "bad farmer, outstanding citizen" are set apart in an "other" 
group. (See Tables 4, 19, and 20.) 

The final ratings, 1, 2, and 3, have a somewhat different meaning 
when the reference is to success and effort in farming than when it is to 
social standing. Given for success and effort, they mean "good," medi- 
ocre," and "poor." Given for social standing, they mean "community 
leader, or outstanding citizen active in community life"; "average, re- 
spectable citizen without qualities of leadership, or without ambition"; 
and "undesirable citizen." Therefore, although a rating of "2" has a 
rather derogatory connotation when applied to farming, this is not true of 
a similar rating on social standing. 

Table 1 reveals a distinct correlation between the various final 
ratings and the initial ones. Starting with the total initial scores 
which summarize the four sub-ratings on farming experience, capital, in- 
dustry, and character, v/e find that the hom.esteaders who had received high 
initial ratings are far more numerous among those who had high final rat- 
ings than among those who had medium and low final ratings. Those with 
the highest initial scores of 95 to 100 constitute 48 percent of those 
whose later success, and 50 percent of those whose later effort were out- 
standing, while they constit\ite only 24 and 21 percent of the mediocre, 
and 12 and 20 percent among the failures. As the initial ratings decline, 
the representation among the three groups with high, medium, and low final 
ratings at first becomes even, to shift very definitely to the side of 
the proven failures as the initial ratings decline to the very lowest. 
Thus, the homesteaders with the lov;est initial ratings of 70 to 80 com- 
prise only 3 percent (success) and 2 percent (effort) of the highly 
successful and industrious, while the percentages among the mediocre are 
10 (success) and 10 (effort), and among the failures 18 (success) and 
27 (effort) . In other woi'^ds,, as the initial ratings decline from high to 
lov/, the percentage of provenly desirable homesteaders declines too, while 
the percentage of undesirable ones is ascending. 

Despite the fact that citizenship qualities were not among the 
explicit criteria for selection, a significant relation is also visible 
between total initial ratings and social standing (Table 2) . It must 
be kept in mind that, since the "1" rating designates only leader per- 
sonalities or men actively interested in community affairs, the bulk of 
respectable but relatively inconspicuous homesteaders crowd into the "2" 
column. Fully tv/o-thirds of those who became outstanding citizens, and 



- 16 - 




U. S DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE NEG. 32977 BUREAU OF AGRICULTURAL ECCLNOMICS 

Fig. 2.- Relation between initial and final ratings 



- 17 - 



only 13 percent of the undesirable ones, had been thus highly appraised. 
Here, also, the distribution shov/s a definite increase of the percentage 
of less desirable men as the initial ratings become lower. 

As a result of these relations, the weighted averages of the final 
ratings on success, effort, and social standing show a very regular change 
from comparatively poor (2.33 for all final ratings combined) to compar- 
atively good (1.49 for all final ratings combined) as the initial ratings 
rise from 70-75 to 95-100 (Tables 3, 21, and Fig. 2). 

In view of these relations for all three classes of final ratings, 
it is not surprising that the distribution of the homesteaders with dif- 
ferent all-round desirability pictures a like result (Table 4) . Except 
for some irregularities due to the sub-grouping by a second criterion 
(quality as a citizen) with a slightly different rating scale, the line 
connecting the modal groups in the individual columns bends slowly up- 
ward, indicating the presence of a relationship between the total initial 
ratings and the "general desirability" of the individuals, 

As the most important purpose of selection is the elimination of 
decidedly bad prospects, it is particularly illuminating to note that, 
of the 26 clearly undesirable cases (combined ratings, "average farmer, 
undesirable citizen," "bad farmer, normal citizen," "bad farmer, un- 
desirable citizen"), 11 had been rated 85 or less and 19, 90 or less 
(Table 19). Therefore, had the applications been numerous enough to war- 
rant the rejection of all those rated 85 or less, 42 percent of all the un- 
desirable applicants would have been barred. Simultaneously, only 8 per- 
cent of the clearly desirable applicants (combined ratings, "good farmer, 
outstanding or normal citizen" and "average farmer, outstanding citizen") 
would have been rejected. 13/ The benefits that would have resulted are 
obvious . 

Considering the relative simplicity of the selection method and the 
circumstances surrounding its application, the relationships demonstrated 
so far must be regarded as rather satisfactory. That the correlation is 
far from perfect is evident of course in the relatively large number of 
persons with very high initial ratings who later turned out to be but 
mediocre farmers. It is reflected also in the fact that the average 
final ratings (Table 3) show a relatively narrow range, for example, only 
between 2.25 and 1.39 for effort and success. A near-perfect correlation, 
however, scarcely could be expected even with a much more refined method 
than the one employed. 



13/ Three of the five good homesteaders who received low initial scores 
were aliens, two being Bohemians and the third a Swede. Despite the ex- 
cellent reputation of the Bohemians from the Malin settlement northeast 
of the project, foreign descent (combined with a severe language handicap 
in one case) apparently led to misjudgment. 



- 18 - 



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- 19 - 



To which of the partial initial ratings are these surprisingly 
satisfactory results mainly attributable? 14/ The correlation between 
previous farming experience and the final ratings for success and effort 
in farming, although somewhat lower than that for the total ratings and 
success and effort, is marked. Evidently the selection board of the Tule 
Lake Division did a particularly creditable job in scaling down many ex- 
aggerated statements of the applicants on the subject of experience. 

The regulations prescribed that men with "2 years or more in farming 
other than by irrigation" should be rated 15 and men with "2 -years or more 
in irrigation" should be rated 25, but they did not specify as to the dis- 
tribution of the intervening 10 points. Fortunately these rules were not 
taken too seriously. Men who claimed to have been farmers for 40 years 
sometimes were rated low, and others with a few years' experience were 
rated relatively high. Even persons who allegedly had decades of ex- 
perience in irrigation farming occasionally were rated less than 20. 

For two reasons, this procedure was entirely reasonable and legit- 
imate. First, farm-experience claims can be easily "padded," a fact of 
which the selection board apparently was well aware. Second, farm ex- 
perience is not measurable by time units. One person may learn in 2 years 
what another could not acquire in 20. The factors of intelligence, edu- 
cation, and eagerness to become a successful farmer are of paramount im- 
portance. The fact that the board evidently made an effort to take these 
factors into consideration helps to explain the fairly high correlation 
that exists between the ratings on farm experience and the later success 
and effort ratings of the homesteaders. 

Previous farming experience and social standing on the project 
correlate even more closely. This may have resulted in part because the 
selection board favored especially that farm experience which was coupled 
with the intelligence and the energy likely to enable the possessor to 
play a major part in the community. Moreover, perhaps the non-farmers, 
from whose ranks came a large number of good settlers, found it necessary 
during the first years to concentrate their efforts on operating their 
homesteads rather than on activity in affairs of the community. 

The correlation between initial ratings on farming experience and 
quality later demonstrated is reflected by a consistent distribution of 
the homesteaders with varying general desirability (combined ratings. 
Tables 19 and 20) and by a series of average final ratings that declines 
regularly as initial ratings on farm experience become lower (Table 21). 

Between the initial capital scores and the eventual development of 
the homesteaders only a slight correlation exists. Homesteaders with 
high initial capital ratings predominate among the good, mediocre, and 
poor farmer groups, although a larger proportion of them are present 
among the better farmers. It was suspected that the lack of correlation 
might be due to the high original capital assets of the sheepmen, many of 



14/ The following discussion is based on Tables 17 to 21. 



- 20 - 



whom proved later to be unsuccessful homesteaders. But a separate tabula- 
tion removing this source of disturbance shows that the principal reason 
for the low correlation probably lies simply in the unreliability of the 
initial capital statements (Table 5) . A surprisingly large number of 
individuals declared their net worth at about $2,000, the required mini- 
mum, or at about $5,000, the amount necessary for the maximum rating on 
capital. The latter greatly predomanated. Not only did some persons with 
less than $5,000 in all probability offer "padded" statements but others 
may have concealed greater assets because of a feeling that a true 
declaration would not improve their chances of getting homesteads. 

In exceptional cases these statements were checked by questions ad- 
dressed to the applicants' bankers, but usually letters were sent only to 
the applicants' own references asking whether, in their opinion, the pros- 
pective homesteader possessed the minimum of $2,000. The board seldom 
scaled down the net-worth statements made by the applicants, A uniform 
key Y/as used almost invariably in translating the statement into capital 
ratings, so that the procedure was entirely mechanical. 15/ It seems 
probable that the task was done by a clerk even before the selection board 
convened. This easily explains the large number of applicants with high 
capital ratings among the unsuccessful and mediocre as well as among the 
high-class farmers. Under these conditions it is really surprising that, 
after all, relatively more well-equipped men are found among the latter 
than among the former. 

This fact cannot be taken as a valid proof that the possession of 
the $4,000 or $5,000 required for a capital rating of 22.5 to 25 decidedly 
improved a man's chance for success. The relation may rather be an in- 
direct one, A number of those applicants who "padded" their declarations 
of net worth up to $4,000 and $5,000 may have done so because they were 
possessed of a strong desire to farm, combined with sufficient intelligence 
to familiarize themselves with the selection requirements. This com- 
bination of desire to farm and intelligence (even without a too precise 
veracity) is among the best possible qualifications for a prospective 
farmer and may account for the eventual success of these homesteaders. 
This assumption is corroborated by the fact that not only the percentage 
of applicants who declared their capital from $4,000 to $5,000 (rated from 
22.5 to 25), but also the percentage of those who declared their capital 
at from $2,500 to $3,000 (rated from 17,5 to 20), is higher among the 
good than among the mediocre and poor homesteaders. In a word, the slight 
relation existing does not afford a conclusive indication as to the amount 
of capital most desirable beyond the minimum of $2,000. 

In considering the relation between capital and social standing, it 
is interesting that although, as might be expected, the proportion of 
well-to-do men among the "leaders" is large, a goodly number of them are 



15/ Fifteen points for $2,000, twenty for $3,000, twenty-five for $5,000 
and more, with one additional point for each $200 between $2,000 and 
$3,000, and one for each $400 between $3,000 and $5,000. 



- 21 - 



found in the "undesirable citizen" class. This suggests a question as to 
whether the latter were particularly skillful in misrepresentation, whe- 
ther public sentiment frowned on those who possessed money but lacked ef- 
fort, or whether other reasons existed. The material on individual home- 
steaders revealed clearly that the low social standing of these home- 
steaders with good capital ratings is due mainly to undesirable personal 
traits such as excessive drinking, ignorance, mistreatment of wives, and 
laziness . 

The picture offered by the combined ratings expressing general 
desirability is correspondingly inconclusive. The numerical predominance 
of men with high capital ratings holds through all the groups, although 
more strongly in the better ones. Average farmers with no leadership 
qualities ("average farmer, normal citizen") show an interesting segrega- 
tion into originally well-to-do and originally poor men, with the former 
somev/hat predominating (Tables 19 and 20) . The series of average final 
ratings is correspondingly erratic (Table 21). 

The distribution of high and low ratings on i ndustry and characte r 
clearly shows that the selection board was at a loss in most cases and, 
accordingly, gave applicants the benefit of the doubt. This was entirely 
reasonable in view of the nature of the reference material and the lack 
of first-hand information about most of the applicants. Thus, 82 percent 
of all ratings on industry and 91 percent of all ratings on character 
were between 22.5 and 25 points (Table 18). In fact, 47 percent of all 
ratings on industry, and 68 percent of all ratings on character were maxi- 
mum (25) ratings. Evidently, lower ratings were given only when the ad- 
verse evidence, whether derived from personal acquaintance, the creation 
of a bad impression on the board, or unfavorable references, was especial- 
ly strong. The only liberty taken by the board was the reasonable one of 
using the ratings on "industry" to express doubt v/hether women, old men, 
and crippled persons would make much headway on a homestead. 

This predominance of high and maximum industry and character ratings 
precluded correlation with the later development of the homesteaders to an 
even greater extent than was the case for the capital scores. The over- 
whelming majority of the mediocre and poor as well as of the efficient 
farmers had originally received the highest ratings, The variation of the 
percentages with highest ratings among the classes of the good, mediocre, 
and poor farmers is correspondingly small, although some regularity is 
discernible even here. Whatever merit the ratings on character and in- 
dustry had consisted mainly in the fact that the judgment of the selection 
board was evidently very good in those few cases where it dared give real- 
ly low marks. The few persons with low character ratings invariably 
turned up later with mediocre and poor scores for effort, success, and 
social standing. To a lesser extent this holds also for the low ratings 
on industry, particularly as far as the correlation with social standing 
is concerned (Tables 17 and 18) . The combined ratings show that only 
4 of the 25 rated less than 22.5 on industry, and not a single one of the 
12 rated equally low on character, are in a class higher than the "aver- 
age farmer, normal citizen" group. On the other hand, the confidence 



- 22 - 



for lack of better knowledge expressed in the high industry and character 
ratings proved unfounded in a considerable number of cases (Tables 19 
and 20) . 

The final ratings become inconsistent partly for this reason and 
partly because of the small number of cases in the lov/er-rated classes 
(Table 21) . 

Obviously the ratings for the two psychological criteria were not 
valueless in designating really bad cases. On the other hand, their 
contribution in separating the excellent homesteader from the mediocre 
was very small. Moreover, the results would certainly have been even 
less satisfactory had not approximately one-third of the applicants been 
known to the county agent on the selection board. 

Why do initial partial ratings which correlate more or less doubt- 
fully with the final development of the homesteaders combine into initial 
total ratings v,rhich show a much closer correlation? 16/ If the items 
added merely summarized the impressions of several persons utilizing a 
single criterion, the results could be explained as due to the mutual com- 
pensation of erroneously high or low ratings originating from different 
observers. But the situation in question was the reverse: the items 
added were ratings on distinctly different criteria, given by one and the 
same committee. 

The arithmetic of a rating device composed of sub-ratings offers the 
following explanation. A better correlation should be anticipated for the 
total ratings than for the individual sub-ratings when two conditions are 
fulfilled. These conditions are: (1) that some correlation of the same 
direction (either direct or inverse) exist between all, or at least some, 
of the sub-ratings and attainment of the purpose for which the ratings are 
intended; (2) that the qualifications covered by the sub-ratings be of 
such a nature that the value of one, with respect to this purpose, is 
heightened or lessened by the presence of the others. 

The first postulate is self-explanatory. The second one is derived 
from the fact that, corresponding class intervals assumed, a low (high) 
rating on one criterion pushes an individual down (up) the scale of total 
ratings only by a fraction of the distance it pushes him down (up) the 
scale of rating for this particular criterion. The fraction is determined 
by the total number and weight of the criteria used. The ratings on the 
other criteria act as shock absorbers, mitigating the effect of the one 
low (high) rating on the total. 



16/ That the correlation of the total ratings is far better is proven by 
the fact that the modal groups of the columns form consistently ascending 
lines, although the class interval is 5 points, that is, only one-half as 
large as would correspond to the class interval of 2.5 used for the four 
sub- ratings (Table 18) . 



- 23 - 



This automatic process operates to increase the correlation between 
the total ratings and the purpose for which the ratings are intended only 
when, in actuality, the importance of the presence or absence of one cri- 
terion is not absolute ; but changes as it is strengthened or weakened by 
the presence (or absence) of other criteria. Excessive drinking, for in- 
stance, is a rather absolute criterion and would make a man a very poor 
prospect no matter what his other qualifications might be. Should a poor 
rating on this score be diluted by higher ones on intelligence and capi- 
tal, for example, the final ranking might be unjustifiably high. There- 
fore, this item should never figure in a rating system of combined sub- 
ratings. Farming experience, on the contrary, not only stands diluting 
extraordinarily v/ell but even requires it. for the extent to which farming 
experience can be disregarded depends entirely on the presence or absence 
of such other qualifications as intelligence, ambition, and education. 
Therefore, a low rating on farming experience should be given full weight 
in the total ratings only when it is uncompensated for by high ratings on 
other qualifications, that is, when it is accompanied by other low sub- 
ratings. 17/ 

As the four criteria of the particular device under investiga- 
tion are very distinctly intersupporting, the value of capital and farm 
experience in the final success depending largely upon general character 
and industry, the improvement of the correlation through addition of the 
sub- ratings theoretically should not be surprising. Still, when the very 
low correlations between actual behavior and ratings on industry and char- 
acter, and the not much better one between actual behavior and capital, 
are considered, it appears as if the outlined arithmetical process could 
not totally account for the large superiority of the total over the partial 
initial ratings. 

The solution lies in the fact that the group of 1927--28 applicants 
contained a considerable number of non-farmers with some agricultural ex- 
perience who later became very good homesteaders. They impressed the 
board as being intelligent, educated, and ambitious. Since no ratings 
were provided for these qualifications, all the board could do under ex- 
isting regulations was to attach additional weight to what little farm 
experience these applicants possessed and to rate them high on industry 
and character. But the concept of farm experience could not be stretched 
out of all relation to its literal meaning by making it cover not only 
intelligence and education, but business ability acquired in an occupa- 
tion the very opposite of farming. This is especially true as business 



17/ Whether the method of added ratings is not too crude a procedure to 
furnish a near-perfect correlation with the attainment of the purpose of 
the ratings under any circumstances is another question. Certainly, if 
qualities producing a certain effect are interrelated, the relation is not 
of the additive but of the conditional type - a certain quality, for ex- 
ample, may be of no value unless supported by will power. But, if the 
method works in approximately the right direction, it may be satisfactory 
for practical purposes. 



- 24 - 



ability and length of previous occupation in farming probably stand in an 
inverse relation in a group drawn from both farm and non-farm occupations. 
These men, therefore, had to be rated low on farm experience. As many of 
them became good farmers, they seriously disturb the correlation between 
farming experience and later success. But as they were rated high on in- 
dustry and character, their disturbing influence on the total ratings is 
much smaller. 

On the other hand, the men of lesser qualifications and no farming 
background evidently had less chance of making good than those whose 
doubtful qualifications were somewhat offset by long-time farming exper- 
ience, Thus, it makes for a correct forecast if low ratings on farm ex- 
perience, when combined with justifiably low ratings on industry and char- 
acter, yield a low total rating. In this way much of the superiority 
of the total ratings over those for farm experience is explained, despite 
the fact that the high industry and character ratings of the good non- 
farming prospects, because of the great prevalence of high ratings on 
these criteria, could not offset the lack of a rating for their particular 
strong points . 

Summarizing, it may be said that, of the four initial sub-ratings, 
only the one on former farming experience shows a definite correlation 
with the quality of the selected applicants as revealed later by their 
activities on the homesteads. The other three show but a slight correla- 
tion. This is especially true of the sub-ratings on industry and charac- 
ter, because of the fact that in cases of doubt high ratings were given. 
On the other hand, the few low ratings on these criteria later proved to 
be largely justified. 

The four sub-ratings combined into an initial total rating, however, 
correlate relatively well with the quality of the applicants as evidenced 
by the final ratings. Since the four criteria are such that the effec- 
tiveness of each of them in contributing to later success in homesteading 
depends on the presence or the absence of the others, this was to- be ex- 
pected. Moreover, the value of the total ratings in forecasting success 
is raised above the value of the ratings for the individual criteria by 
the fact that the group of applicants included a fairly large proportion 
of good prospects from non-farming occupations. Their strong points, 
namely business sense and mental alertness, could be expressed in only a 
very limited way by the scheme of the four sub-ratings. Their presence 
actually disturbs the correlation of the rating on farm experience. 
However, the procedure of added ratings minimizes this defect when the 
sub-ratings are added. 

The selection method of the Bureau of Reclamation therefore appears 
to be a fairly satisfactory instrument for forecasting the future success 
of a prospect, provided it is used by a reasonable selection board. The 
board working at Tule Lake in 1927 evidently did a particularly good job 
in reducing the statements on former farming experience, exaggerated in 
many cases, to reasonable proportions. Hampered by a lack of acquaintance 



- 25 - 



with the applicants and by unreliable references, it did not function 
equally well on the "industry" and "character" ratings. With respect to 
these two items, the method requires substantial improvement. It would be 
advisable also to add ratings on business ability and, perhaps, on general 
intelligence. A close check on the statements concerning capital seems 
indispensable, and information from the Bureau indicates that progress has 
in the meantime been made in this direction. These improvements may 
reasonably be expected to enhance the accuracy of a forecasting procedure 
which already has proven fairly satisfactory. 18 / 



18/ It had been planned to check the justification of the final ratings 
by some objective measure of individual achievement. The ratio of present 
to initial net worth, or the difference between the two, seemed to provide 
such a yardstick. Data on the present net worth of the homesteaders still 
operating were therefore collected and set in relation to the net worth of 
the same individuals as declared in their application blanks. However, the 
data proved to be too much influenced by factors other than individual ef- 
ficiency to serve as a useful yardstick of achievement. Initial declara- 
tions were often unreliable, present ones disturbed by over-optimism or 
over-pessimism as to present land values, The present net worth includes 
the value of the land grant of the Government, while the initial one does 
not. This makes for distortion, since the value of the homestead, due to 
differences in size and soil quality, was unequal to begin with and has 
since been differentiated by road and marketing developments not ascrib- 
able to individual effort. Differences in expenditure for education of 
children, and for maintenance and restoration of health are considerable; 
so are losses suffered from crop failure and other major accidents. How- 
ever, the data collected, if not appropriate to measure the variation of 
individual effort, throw some light on the enormou.s variation of economic 
success caused by all these factors in combination. The initial and pres- 
ent net worth in 54 individual cases where such data could be collected is 
therefore given in List III p . 83 . The range of variation in the ratio of pres- 
ent to initial net worth is from 16.11 to 0.30, with 46 percent of the 
cases showing ratios between 2.00 and 4.00. It was tested, furthermore, 
whether the contribution of individual efficiency toward financial suc- 
cess would show up at all in a comparison of this success with the final 
ratings. For this purpose, 4 homesteaders with unusually small or large 
holdings were excluded and the remainder of 50 arrayed (1) by net worth 
ratio, (2) by net worth difference, (3) by absolute net worth in 1936. 
The final ratings were computed for each successive group of 5 and 10 in 
all three of these arrays (Table 25). The result is that, despite all 
disturbing factors mentioned above, there is a clear correlation between 
each of the three measures and the final ratings. It is somewhat stronger 
when the absolute net worth of 1936 or the differences between net worth 
in 1936 a.nd 1927, than when the ratio of net worth in 1936 to 1927, is 
used. This apparently indicates that the final ratings were not quite 
just in appraising the obstacles facing the man with small resources. 

The data on present net worth in both presentations are based on the 
homesteaders' own declarations, with some adjustments necessitated by fla- 
grant inconsistencies in statements of neighbors as to the value of their 
land. 



- 26 - 



Initial Ratings as Related to Later Stability of Settlers 

The following analysis is concerned with the degree to which family 
selection tended to insure stability on the project. Previous investi- 
gations have ascertained that, prior to the introduction of family selec- 
tion, the turnover of families on Federal reclamation projects had been 
considerable. 19/ 

In part, instability was caused by the fact that many settlers had 
insufficient resources and experience to develop the farm units to full 
productive power. Partly it resulted from the invitation to speculation 
inherent in all homesteading . These two sources of instability differ 
fundamentally in nature. While the first one will become particularly 
active under unfavorable natural and marketing conditions, the reverse 
is true for the second, 

From the standpoint of this study, it is important that the selec- 
tion method employed by the Bureau of Reclamation was devised primarily 
for cutting off the first source of turnover, which is largely contingent 
upon poor qualifications as a farmer. With the second, which is entirely 
compatible with being a good farmer and desirable citizen, it made no 
attempt to cope. It is noteworthy that, because of the splendid natural 
conditions of the Tule Lake Division, the second source - speculative 
spirit - was the much more powerful incentive to turnover on this project. 

Of 136 families 20/ whose records were used in this study only 66, 
or 48.5 percent, still owned and operated their homesteads in 1936. In 
this figure are included a number of families who at some time had leased 
their homesteads for one or several years because of particular reasons 
such as temporary illness or absences enforced by family reasons. But none 
of these leased habitually and all are to be considered as owner-opera- 
tors. Seventeen homesteaders, or 12,5 percent, have made leasing a ha- 
bitual practice. Some of these reside on the project, others do not and 
never did after "proving up." The remaining 53 homesteaders, or 39.0 per- 
cent, no longer own their homesteads (Table 22). 

Thus, the purpose of securing stable owner-operator families for 
the homesteads has been achieved in less than one-half of the cases. Even 
while the survey was being made, further sales, stimulated by rising 
land prices, v/ere being effected. 



19/ Robson, Laura. Are Project Settlers Permanent? Reclamation Record, 
V. 10, No. 4, April 1919, p. 168. A survey made in 1919 on six typical 
Federal reclamation projects revealed that only 65.2 percent of all fami- 
lies who had settled on the project were still on their homesteads in 
1919. 

20/ This figure is exclusive of 4 homesteaders who have died in the mean- 
time, and of 2 others whose ,,records on initial ratings were lacking. 



- 27 - 



The sales were not distributed over the period uniformly. A major 
peak was reached in 1935 when the rising demand for farms elicited more 
favorable offers. The number and distribution of sales by length of stay 
on the project follows: 



Year 


Length of Stay 


Number of 




(years ) 




1928 


1 


1 


1929 


2 


2 


1930 


3 


6 


1931 


4 




1932 


5 


4 


1933 


6 


6 


1934 


7 


8 


1935 


8 


18 


1936 


9 


8 



53 



The figure for 1936 is incomplete since the survey was taken in 
October and November of that year. At that time three farmers of the 
group were offering their homesteads openly on the market. 

Table 6 relates the initial ratings given by the selection board and 
three degrees of stability. The first one is represented by the settlers 
who at the end of 1936 were still owner-operators (group A), the second 
by those who were habitual lessors (group B) , and the third by those 
former owners who had sold their farms between 1927 and 1936 (group C) . 
Because of the separate and unpredictable development in the sheep and 
stock business, the sheepmen and stockmen are excluded from each group. 
These figures constitute the best basis of comparisons and will be used 
exclusively in the following analysis. 21/ 

Correlation between the initial ratings and stability is completely 
missing. 22/ The highest ratings (95-100) had been received by 36 per- 
cent of group A, 35 percent of group B, and 35 percent of group C. 23/ 
Fifty-seven percent of the homesteaders in group A received total ratings 
of 90-100, as compared to 53 percent and 59 percent for corresponding 
members of groups B and C respectively. The variation of percentages from 
group to group is but little greater for the initial ratings below 90. 
The total ratings, therefore, did not serve the purpose of forecasting 
the stability of the settlers. However, they were probably not devised 
for that purpose. There may have been a vague belief that stability and 



21/ See Table 22, covering all 136 cases. 

22/ A significance test showed that the extremely slight variation in 
stability between the groups with high and low initial ratings was almost 
certainly due to sampling fluctuation. 

23/ In evaluating these percentages one must remember that they refer to 
totals of far less than 100. In group B, for instance, a difference in 
frequency between 3 and 4 cases means a difference in percentage between 
18 and 24. 



- 28 - 



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- 29 - 



quality would go together. This may perhaps be correct to some extent on 
poor projects where people leave because they cannot make good, but not on 
projects like Tule Lake where they make too good to resist the prices 
offered for the developed farms, 

A similar lack of correlation exists between stability and the par- 
tial ratings on farming experience, capital, industry, and character, 

The percentage of those who scored highest on farming experience 
was 41 in group A as against 44 in group C, and 53 percent in group B, 
the group which perhaps represents the least desirable development of 
the three. Correspondingly, the percentages of lowest ratings on this 
qualification are 21 in group A as against 24 in group C and 18 in 
group B. 

The distribution of the settlers by capital ratings shows the same 
picture of uniformity throughout the three stability groups. The analysis 
of the industry and character ratings of the three groups yields approxi- 
mately the same result. But it shows once again that the selection board 
usually v/as on the right track in those few cases where it felt compelled 
to rate an individual low. We have seen above that almost all of the ap- 
plicants who were rated below 20 on industry, character, or both, later 
turned out to be mediocre or poor farmers, and some of them made very poor 
citizens. (See Table 19.) Although stability and high quality, or mobil- 
ity and low quality, do not coincide, the data reveal that of those rated 
low on industry and character almost all were homesteaders whose inferior 
quality actually led them to give up their homesteads or to lease them out 
habitually. Of the 16 who were rated 20 or less on industry, 5 left and 
4 became habitual lessors. Of the 6 rated 20 or less on character, 5 left 
the project (Table 6). 

All this suggests that there were men of sound judgment on the selec- 
tion board who would have been capable of rating the entire group much 
more accurately even on the difficult subjects of character and industry 
had the selection procedure provided a chance to get acquainted with the 
applicants and to secure more detailed and reliable reference material. 

It may be said in summarizing that, in the instance investigated, 
there is no correlation whatsoever between farming experience and capital 
on one hand and stability on the other. A reasonable relationship be- 
tween industry and character and later stability exists only insofar as 
the selection board, in a few cases, dared to give low ratings on the 
basis of strong evidence. 

It is obvious that the addition of the four sub-ratings which are 
almost entirely unrelated to later stability must yield total ratings for 
which the same is true. If persons who received the lowest ratings in 
selection had been excluded because of abundance of applications, the 
future turnover would not have been reduced. Therefore, if the selection 
procedure had been intended as a tool for forecasting the stability of 
the homesteader population, it would have proved to be useless. 



- 30 - 



Chapter IV 

VARIOUS OCCUPATIONAL BACKGROUNDS AS RELATED TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF 

THE SETTLERS 

As a b5''-product of the preceding analysis the following tables are 
offered. They do not strictly pertain to a discussion of the value of 
the selection procedure, but they may serve to provide additional infor- 
mation about the role of farming experience in selection. In reading 
these tables it must be remembered (1) that all of the homesteaders, 
whether they were farmers or non- farmers at selection time, were required 
to meet a minimum standard of farming experience; (2) that the non-farm- 
ers, v/hose number approximately equalled that of the farmers, v/ere scat- 
tered among the latter in such a way as to give them ample opportunity to 
observe the agricultural practices v/hich the farmers employed; and (3) 
that the highly commercialized farming on the Tule Lake Division calls for 
business ability and general alertness as much as for purely agricultural 
technique. 

Although these circumstances might be expected to enhance the 
chances of success of the settlers with predominantly non-farming back- 
ground, it is surprising to find that these persons not only equalled but 
slightly surpassed the achievements of those whose former occupations had 
been entirely agricultural. The distribution of the various occupational 
groups over the classes of good, mediocre, and bad homesteaders reveals a 
slight superiority of the professional men, the tradesmen and clerks, 
and the laborers over the farmers (Tables 7-A and 7-B) . The few sheepmen, 
because they combined a lack of farming experience with a lack of general 
education, make an especially unsatisfactory showing. This is true for 
both success and effort, with the modification that the superiority 
of the professional men and the inferiority of the sheepmen are even more 
pronounced for effort than for success. The professional men, and to some 
degree the other non- farm groups, easily surpass the farmers in social 
standing. The low social ranking of the sheepmen stands out in the fig- 
ures of these tables. 

Tables 8-A and 8-B are of special interest in connection with sol- 
diers' preference rights. The veterans received very satisfactory scores 
for success and effort, and their percentage of first-rate men materially 
exceeded their percentage of the total number of homesteaders. They rated 
especially well on social standing, Whereas the veterans constituted only 
42 percent of the total number of settlers, they comprised fully two- 
thirds of the leading personalities (those rated "1" on social standing) 
and over 70 percent of the relatively small number who were simultaneously 
first-rate farmers and public-spirited citizens. 24/ To some extent this 
result is due to the fact that most of the veterans are of an age which 
allows the union of full productive force and experience, whereas the 
civilian group contains a number of men too young to be experienced or too 



24/ This figure is derived from a tabulation of combined ratings not 
given here for lack of space. 



- 31 - 



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- 33 - 



old to be highly efficient. Moreover, the sheepmen depress the civil- 
ians' level in farming as well as in social standing. But even when 
these factors are eliminated, the veterans remain somewhat superior, 
especially with respect to their standing in the community. 

There seems to be a contradiction between the statements that 
farming experience is correlated with later success and that the non- 
farmers were even slightly more successful than the farmers. It might be 
supposed that the selection board, impressed by the high level of the 
non-farmers, rated alleged farming experience so high in these cases that 
all conclusions based on the correlation between farming experience and 
final ratings might be illusory. 

But Table 9 shows that this is not the case. Although a number of 
non-farmers received relatively high ratings on farming experience, the 
group in general was rated considerably lower than the farmers. Separate 
tabulation of the success of farmers and non-farmers with different rat- 
ings on farm experience proves beyond doubt the considerable significance 
of farming experience. Correlation for both groups is strong, although 
with restrictions that are at variance for the two groups. The farmers 
whose experience was not considered to be worth much became for the most 
part mediocre homesteaders, while those farmers in whose experience much 
confidence was placed were disappointing in many instances. On the con- 
trary, the non-farmers who received low scores in many cases turned out to 



Table 9.- Relation between initial ratings on farming 
experience and final ratings on success, for 
farmers and non-farmers 



Initial rating on 
farming experience 


Total : 
number : 




Final 


rating 


on 


success 




1 


: 2 : 


3 : 


1 


: 2 : 


3 




Number 






Percent 




Farmers: 1/ 
















15 - 20 


22 


5 


13 


4 


23 


59 


18 


20.01 - 22.5 


7 


3 


3 


1 


43 


43 


14 


22.51 - 25 


37 


20 


15 


2 


54 


41 


5 


Totals 


66 


28 


31 


7 


42 


47 


11 


Non-farmers: 
















15 - 20 


28 


13 


12 


3 


46 


43 


11 


20.01 - 22.5 


5 


3 


1 


1 


60 


20 


20 


22.51 - 25 


18 


14 


3 


1 


78 


17 


5 


Totals 


51 


30 


16 


5 


59 


31 


10 



1/ Excluding farm laborers and sheepmen. 



- 34 - 



be excellent homesteaders, while those who had, or were supposed to have, 
considerable experience made a brilliant success in an overwhelming ma- 
jgrity of cases. 

These are strong indications that previous farming experience of a 
non-farmer, although it may have been short, was a highly desirable though 
by no means irreplaceable asset. On the other hand, long years of farm- 
ing in the case of a man who had never done anything else in his life, 
while much less valuable, was almost indispensable to give him. any chance 
of succeeding on a highly commercial project like Tule Lake. 

It can be said with confidence, therefore, that farming experience 
is a powerful factor in determining success. But it can be replaced by 
other qualifications, such as general intelligence, adaptability, and 
business sense, under conditions where non-farmers are not settled in a 
group by themselves but are interspersed among old farmers from whom they 
can learn the technicalities of farming, and where the selection method 
calls for a minimum of experience. Correspondingly, farming experience 
alone is no guarantee against failure. 

On the other hand, no relationship exists betv/een former occupation 
and stability on the project. Farmers and non-farmers contributed almost 
identical percentages of operating (Group A), leasing (Group B) , and 
selling (Group C) homesteaders (Table 10) . 



Table 10,- Relation between former occupation and stability 



Occupational group 



Total : Group A : Group B : Group C 



Farm group, total 81 
Farm group, excluding sheepmen 69 
Non-farm group 51 



Number 



40 
35 
24 



9 
9 
7 



32 
25 
20 



Farm group, total 100 
Farm group, excluding sheepmen 100 
Non-farm group 100 



Percent 



49 
51 
47 



11 
13 
14 



40 
56 
39 



Thus, admission of applicants formerly engaged in non-farm occupa- 
tions did not jeopardize stability, while at the same time it enhanced 
the success of the project. 



- 35 - 



Chapter V 

REASONS FOR INSTABILITY ON THE PROJECT 

The preceding chapter has shown that stability or instability does 
not coincide with the success or failure of the homesteaders on the 
project. 25/ This is substantiated by the 1936 ratings on success, ef- 
fort, and social standing given to owner-operators, habitual lessors, and 
former owners (Table 11). 



Table 11.- Relation between final ratings and stability 



Item 


Total: 




Number 


of cases whose 


ratine 


on - 




Success 


was : 


: Effort 


was : 


: Social standing 
: was : 


1 


: 2 


: 3 


: 1 


• 2 


: 3 


: 1 : 


2 : 


3 


Owner-operators 






















(Group A) 


66 


40 


26 




39 


26 


1 


17 


43 


6 


Habitual lessors 






















(Group B) 


17 


5 


10 


2 


6 


7 


4 


2 


8 


7 


Former owners 






















(Group C) 


53 


17 


22 


14 


17 


26 


10 


8 


34 


11 


Totals 


136 


62 


58 


16 


62 


59 


15 


27 


85 


24 



If the success and effort ratings for each individual are combined 
into an index of quality as a farmer, the distribution is as shown in 
Table 12, 

Table 12.- Relation between quality as a farmer and stability 



: : Good : Average : Bad 

Item : Total : farmers 1/: farmers 2/; farmers 3/ 



Owner-operators (Group A) 


66 


44 


21 


1 


Habitual lessors (Group B) 


17 


8 


6 


3 


Former owners (Group C) 


53 


21 


18 


14 


Totals 


136 


73 


45 


18 


1/ Good farmers: ratings on 


effort and 


success 


higher than 2. 




2/ Average farmers: ratings 


on effort 


and success 2 or 2-. 




3/ Bad farmers; ratings on 


effort and 


success 


less than. 2-. 





25/ A detailed tabulation on the relation between initial ratings on one 
hand, and quality (expressed by final ratings on effort) and stability 
combined, on the other hand, is given in Tables 23 and 24. 



- 36 - 



According to Table 12, the process of elimination through sale of 
the homesteads removed almost all of the bad farmers and more than one- 
third of the average ones, but it also eliminated more than one-fourth of 
the good farmers, 

Any adequate explanation of the large total of sales, especially by 
the good farmers, must include a consideration of the conditions and 
reasons in the background of these transactions. 

Background Factors_of General Importance 

Two basic features tended to increase the volume of sales. In the 
first place, the farms are homesteads, that is, grants comprising 40 to 
80 acres of first-rate land. After a few years, or sometimes only 1 
year, of effort spent on development, 26/ such a farm can be sold with a 
profit of several thousand dollars. Second, in order to avoid excessive 
requirements of capital and labor during the development stage, home- 
steads are frequently laid out in sizes too small to employ the operator's 
full energy when normal farming conditions ensue. This was particularly 
true for most of the Tule Lake units opened in 1927. 

These two factors in combination tended to effect the transfer of 
farms from homesteaders of the speculative type to those of the more stable 
type as soon as the initial development was completed. Whereas the stable 
settlers of the home-making kind were eager to expand their holdings, 
speculative individuals liked to cash in on their previous efforts. Such 
transfers were facilitated by the fact that the latter had usually ab- 
stained from building expensive dwellings, thereby saving the buyer with a 
residence on his original holding the expense of buying a second good 
house, 

In the case investigated, the eagerness to sell far exceeded the 
demand from other homesteaders. Out of 48 homesteads sold by members of 
the 1927 group for which records on the buyers could be obtained, 15, or 
31 percent, went to other homesteaders, while 33, or 69 percent, were sold 
to newcomers to the project. All of the 17 members of this same group who 
expanded their property by buying a second or third homestead in addition 
to their original ones did so by buying out fellow-homesteaders. 

As the law forbids the purchase of a second homestead until after 
the construction charges on the first are paid, it is customary to buy 
in the name of the wife or some other member of the family. Twelve of the 
17 purchases of additional homesteads were transacted in this way. Conse- 
quently, today many of the surviving homesteaders own several units in 
the same neighborhood. Even more frequently it happened that, as soon as 



26/ Both effort and capital outlay required are not excessive on the Tule 
Lake Division, due to the level topography of the land and the absence of 
sagebrush. 



- 37 - 



a person's intention to sell became known, his neighbor would urge a 
relative to settle near him. Thus, clusters of homesteads belonging to 
different members of the same family have been formed through later 
purchases. (Sales have become less frequent of late, preference being 
given to leasing contracts, because many farmers hesitate to buy at the 
present high land prices,) 

As a result, a conspicuous differentiation of property and income 
among the remaining members of the group has taken place. From the be- 
ginning, some homesteaders were better off economically than others 



either because they owned outside property or because they held a job 
with the Reclamation Service or elsewhere. Buying and renting of other 
homesteads further widened the range. Finally, some homesteaders ob- 
tained additional income through business enterprises, and others par- 
ticipated in the very advantageous operation of the Government lease 
land, commonly reserved for large owners. Thus, in 1936 the economic re- 
sources of those members of Group A for whom records could be obtained 
varied as shown in Table 13. 

Table 13.- Economic basis of 58 owner-operator homesteaders in 1936 

Economic basis ; Number 



Total 58 

Own and operate one homestead - total 35 

No other steady income 25 

Other steady income 2 

Sheep or stock business 2 

Job with Reclamation Bureau 5 

Rent another homestead 1 

Own and operate two homesteads - total 13 

No other steady Income 9 

Other steady income 1 

Sheep or stock business 1 

Rent another homestead 2 1/ 

Own and operate three homesteads - total 1 

No other steady income 1 

Own and operate homesteads and other land - total 9 

One homestead and farm not on project 6 2/ 

One homestead, operate lease land 1 

Two homesteads, operate lease land 1 

Three homesteads, operate lease land 1 



1/ One homesteader in partnership with brother. 

2/ Two of these homesteaders do not operate the other farm. 



- 38 - 



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- 39 - 



According to Table 13, only 25 of the 58 settlers for whom 
records were obtained relied exclusively on one homestead. Ten others 
owning one homestead (including the two sheepmen whose holdings merely 
supplemented their main business) enlarged their income by some activity 
or device, and 7 others who possessed only one homestead either had farms 
off the project or operated lease land. Sixteen owned more than one home- 
stead. It was mentioned before that the shift from alfalfa and grain to 
potato growing and the mechanization of farm power probably contributed 
to this development. 

The superior efficiency which presumably would be associated with 
those who operate more than one unit is indicated also by the better final 
ratings of these men (Table 14) . The table shows, moreover, that the 
operation of several units by one individual is not restricted to a par- 
ticular occupational group. Finally, it testifies again to the superior- 
ity of the veterans, 

Other factors, less tangible than speculation and size of farms, 
tended to increase the mobility of the population on the project. Today 
the homesteaders generally recognize that the Tule Lake Division is a 
"gold mine" and that they were very fortunate to stumble more or less 
blindly upon such an opportunity. This feeling may have been particularly 
strong when the survey was made in the fall of 1936, for a big potato 
crop had just been harvested and was selling at high prices, due to 
drought in other areas. However, satisfaction with the fertility of the 
land is constantly clouded by a fear that alkali may come up. This fear 
lends the atmosphere a peculiar tinge of "take what you can today." At the 
same time, it is recognized that the practices arising from this very at- 
titude m.ay precipitate the dreaded event, Complaints are being made about 
the excessive growing of potatoes during the last years, for it is feared 
that the heavy irrigation required by potatoes, and the resultant oc- 
casional over-irrigation, may hasten the appearance of alkali. Most of 
the farmers believe that the alkali danger can be controlled through prop- 
er drainage endeavors, both by the Reclamation Service and by individual 
farmers, but others express great concern. Some farmers in the northeast- 
ern section, where the danger is especially acute, sold their homesteads 
for this reason. One case occurred during the writer's stay on the pro- 
ject. Apparently, certain farmers, transferring to the Tule Lake Division 
from other Reclamation projects damaged by alkali, are spreading this fear 
among the other homesteaders. Such a situation of course will be attrac- 
tive to commercially-minded people who have no sentimental attachment to 
the soil and who do not think in terms of making a permanent home or of 
leaving the farm to their children. "People here want to make as much 
money as possible and get out," the writer was told by a man who for 
many years has been in close daily contact with homesteaders. 

But soil fertility and the danger of alkali do not alone account 
for this attitude. In contrast to the adjoining areas to the north, east, 
and west, the site of the Tule Lake project lacks scenic charm. It is 



- 40 - 



absolutely level, though surrounded by bare hills on three sides. Since 
without irrigation there is no vegetation except saltgrass and other dry 
weeds, the area presents a rather desolate view. Usually a few shade 
trees are grown around the farm houses, but on the newer homesteads they 
are small and often they are entirely missing. Vegetable and flower 
gardens are scarce, for the women, finding it difficult to perform the 
labor of irrigating, attempt gardening only when their husbands are 
interested enough to assist them. In this respect, the older Bohemian 
settlement around Malin compares very favorably with the Tule Lake Divi- 
sion not only because it is older (the settlers having come in 1909-10), 
but because the Bohemians brought with them the European peasant's love 
for trees and flowers. 

Excessive dust, caused by the powdery quality of the soil, is an- 
other reason for complaint. All year round, the fine, gray dust pene- 
trates through windows and doors, to the despair of the women, who find 
it impossible to keep their houses clean. Also, the seeds are in danger 
of being blown out during the storms that are not uncommon in this area 
during planting season. 

Moreover, the eastern part of the project, including the 2-year-old 
town of Tulelake, does not possess its own supply of drinking water. The 
water obtained from wells on the individual farms is so heavily alkaline 
that it is hardly usable for washing dishes and scrubbing floors. One 
swallow may occasion serious indigestion for several days. Therefore, 
all the drinking water is hauled to the project in milk cans by the South- 
ern Pacific Railroad. An attempt is being made to solve the problem by 
the drilling of a 2,000-foot well in the town of Tulelake. But at pres- 
ent, the water trouble is a serious inconvenience which contributes heav- 
ily to the "cash in and leave" attitude. 

It is very interesting to notice, in this connection, a striking 
difference both in outward appearance and in mental attitude between the 
western and eastern sections of the Division. Socially and economically, 
the Tule Lake Division is split into two distinct parts, the "West Side" 
and the "East Side." The former Lost River, now a drainage ditch crossed 
by two bridges, forms the borderline. The West Side tends to trade with 
Merrill, the East Side with the Bohemian town of Malin and, m.ore recent- 
ly, with the rapidly developing Tulelake, which is located in its center. 

The West Side farmers are the "aristocracy" of the project. For 
some years social life in this section has been firmly integrated, center- 
ing around a very active women's club and a public school built by the 
donations and labor of the homesteaders. Although the high school for 
the entire Division and the Legion Hall are located in Tulelake, and al- 
though the East Side has a booming social life of its own with many clubs 
and community activities (but no public school building yet) , life on the 
West Side seems far more settled and economic development more advanced. 
Many more attractive permanent farm houses have been constructed in this 
section, whereas the East Side farmers still live for the most part in the 



- 41 - 



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- 42 - 



primitive homestead shacks characteristic of the early period of a rec- 
lamation settlement. To the present, the turnover of homesteads on the 
West Side has been almost as rapid as on the East Side, but it may be 
considerably smaller in the future (Fig. 3). 

The reasons for this notable difference are not easy to ascertain. 
The land is not appreciably better than most of that on the East Side. 
The saltgrass problem bothers West Side farmers exclusively. The farms on 
the average are even smaller than on the East Side. But probably the 
cleverest applicants applied for West Side homesteads because they were 
nearer the road to town or because they comprised slightly better land 
and were threatened less by the danger of alkali. The remark of one West 
Side woman seems to provide a further key: "We have excellent water, a 
wonderful school, and the hills protect us from the winds." The supply 
of good water and the protection against dust storms unquestionably make 
living on the West Side much more pleasant. Therefore, settlers are more 
likely to consider the farm as a permanent home, to plan for the future, 
to build more durable houses, and to develop community institutions that 
will, in their turn, tie them to the land. The difference between the two 
sections of the project thus seems to demonstrate that natural factors 
like water and v/ind, though affecting economic opportunities but little, 
can be of considerable importance in framing the attitude of a popula- 
tion toward a given locality. 

This may serve to characterize the background on which develop the 
special motives of the individual families for leaving, leasing, and ex- 
panding. 

I ndividual Reasons for Sales of Homesteads 

An attempt was made to ascertain the individual reasons for the 
selling or habitual leasing of homesteads by questioning the former neigh- 
bors of the respective families. This was not done by using a schedule 
listing typical reasons, but by eliciting tales "in free style." Later, 
the reasons given in these tales were systematized. This procedure neces- 
sarily led to some overlapping in the resulting list; but leading ques- 
tions were avoided and therefore little violence was done to reality. 
Thus, the list of reasons for homesteader instability, as compiled for 
presentation here, is just as much a result of direct investigation as 
the frequencies that are entered. 

Table 15-A gives the reasons for selling, thus ascertained, for the 
55 individual families who had left the project. The principal reason 
was derived from a comparison of the comments of several farmers on each 
case . 

According to these figures, sales prompted by "speculation." out- 
side interests (farming or otherwise), indebtedness, inefficient farming, 
and marital trouble were outstanding numerically. 



- 43 - 



Table 15-A.- Frequency of reasons for sales of homesteads 1/ 



: One reason : Principal 
Reason ; among others ; reason 



Sale for speculation 


24 


7 


Poor land 


4 


3 


Old age 


1 





Poor health, man 


4 


4 


Poor health, wife 


2 


2 


Dislike of country, man 


5 





Dislike of country, wife 


3 





Other farming interests 


7 


1 


Other trade or professional 






interests 


8 


6 


Lack of capital 


7 





Indebtedness 


11 


5 


Poor farmer 


15 


4 


No farming experience 


9 


3 


No interest in farming 


6 





Laziness 


7 





Lack of general education 


1 





Drinking 


5 


3 


Gambling 


1 





Marital trouble 


12 


6 


Wife dissatisfied 


4 


2 


Bachelor 


5 





Other family reasons 


6 


6 


Other reasons 


3 


3 



Total _55 

(For detail, see Appendix, p. 81) 

1/ Including 2 transfers to family members, listed under "other family 
reasons." 

"Sale for speculation," a term constantly recurring in the neigh- 
bors' comments, means that the individual took a good price when it was 
offered, rather than that he settled on the homestead with speculative 
purposes exclusively in mind. In fact, of only a few homesteaders did 
neighbors remark, "He never intended to stay." When they did, their judg- 
ment was based usually upon the kind of house the settler had built. 
Instead, "sale for speculation" often implied that the individual in 
question was footloose, that he struck no roots on the project, in short, 
that he was not of the homeraaking type. In this, however, he did not 
differ from many others still on the project who are only waiting for 
favorable offers. In several cases, the price at which the sale had been 
concluded was mentioned with deep respect, and any other explanation for 
the sale was deemed superfluous. One person, not a homesteader but a 
resident thoroughly familiar with the mental atmosphere of the project, 
expressed a v/idespread attitude in the words: "Anybody who does not ac- 
cept a good price is a fool." 



- 44 - 



Those who sold "for speGulation" were nearly all good or at least 
average farmers. 27/ Of the 7 reported as selling directly as a result 
of this incentive, 3 were outstanding farmers, 3 were average, and 1 was 
a bright young real estate man who had taken a homestead with speculation 
expressly in view. The 24 allegedly influenced by this motive, although 
not always decisively, comprised 11 good, 8 average, and 2 poor farmers, 
in addition to the realtor mentioned above, a former business man of un- 
known farming qualifications, and one wealthy sheepman. Thirteen were 
veterans; 11 were civilians. As 40 percent of the total number of home- 
steaders was composed of veterans, these figures indicate that this group 
contributed its full share of speculators. However, the oft-heard con- 
tention that "all the ex-soldiers take the homesteads on speculation," 
is clearly an exaggeration. 

Ill health , if it is of a nature unfavorably affected by the living 
and working conditions on the project, usually requires no further reason 
to make a man give up, Here, too, speculative reasons often enter the 
consideration, influencing particularly the date of the final decision. 
Dry weather, dust, and "footcold" houses (due to the impossibility of 
building cellars), are factors affecting health conditions on the project. 
The long periods during which individuals are forced to stand in water at 
irrigation time, often at night when they are tired or exhausted, are 
likewise physically trying. According to the general opinion, the dry 
climate offsets the disadvantages of the dust and is actually beneficial 
as far as diseases of the respiratory tract are concerned. But with re- 
gard to many other ailments, existent conditions are definitely dele- 
terious. 28/ 

Other interests outside the project played an important part in 
causing settlers to leave. Two typical situations prevailed. Many of the 
1927 homesteaders, particularly the civilians, were either farmers or sons 
of farmers and stockmen from the surrounding areas. As all of them had 
good cars, they maintained constant contact with their family clans living 
nearby, A fairly large number of these settlers came from the Bohemian 
settlement around Malin, where family ties are particularly close. In 
cases of death, especially of the father, readjustments of residence and 
occupation for the entire family resulted. Often the son, having in- 
herited the paternal farm as a whole or in part, first attempted to operate 
it in conjunction with his original land. This frequently led to leasing 



27/ Good farmers: ratings on effort and success higher than 2. 
Average farmers: ratings on effort and success 2 or 2 -, 
Bad farmers: ratings on effort and success less than 2 -. 
28/ The author met two men with impaired health who sold out in the fall 
of 1936. Both were outstanding farmers and business men. They enjoyed 
universal respect as citizens. Both had ailments that were aggravated 
by conditions on the project, They grasped the opportunity to get a good 
price and departed for a locality with better and more congenial living 
conditions. Both intended to continue farming, and both owned farm 
property elsewhere. 



- 45 - 



and eventual selling, although in some oases both farms were managed suc- 
cessfully. In other instances, the son moved away, and another member of 
the family took over the homestead. When the father's holdings were too 
large or too remote to be operated from the son's homestead, sales were 
almost inevitable. 

Another problem is presented by the men with non-farming backgrounds 
and interests. The ex-service applicants, particularly, included a 
relatively large number of sales and insurance agents, realtors, teachers, 
engineers, lawyers, and doctors. As set forth in Table 7, p. 31, this 
group has provided a larger-than-average proportion of very successful 
homesteaders. But a number of cases exist, especially among profes- 
sional men, where individuals who filed on homesteads either retained 
their former occupations or intended to return to them as soon as possible. 
These, perhaps, represent the purest cases of speculation, of "cashing in 
on the homestead right." Continual leasing and eventual sales are almost 
invariably the outgrowth of this practice. 29/ 

It is easy to understand why the stable, self-operating homestead- 
ers resent the practice of giving units to men with outside incomes. The 
feeling is general that such settlers are far less interested in farming 
and homemaking than in moneymaking. 

On the other hand, the non-farm group contained a number of persons 
who, though serious in intention, were misfits, unadjustable to farming. 
This was especially true of the less educated individuals. In these 
cases, the attraction of the former profession, associated with a lack of 
farming experience which was not compensated for by interest in farming 
or by superior business ability, was generally cited as the first reason 
for leaving. Usually these persons returned to their former occupations, 
some having lost forever their cherished hopes of farm life and farm 
prosperity. 

Another problem involves the acquisition of homesteads by employees 
of the Reclamation Service. The other settlers dislike and resent this 
feature most of all. The Reclamation Service naturally is interested in 
having some of its technical employees - such as ditch riders, dragline 
men, and pump-station men - live on the project, and often it finds ef- 
ficient workers among the homesteaders. But in other instances employ- 
ment with the Bureau preceded homesteading. These employees often work 
the land with hired labor, make some arrangement with another member of 
the family, or lease. In these cases, the homestead is merely a means 
for supplementing the regular income. 



29/ Of course, there have been exceptions. One 1922 homesteader and 
his wife, who taught school for 7 years after settling on the project, 
finally gave up the profession to become "real dirt farmers." Today they 
own four homesteads, rent several others, possess town property, and 
constitute one of the most prosperous families on the project. 



- 46 - 



The conditions outlined above are reflected in the number of per- 
sons who left because they had other interests and in the number of those 
who departed because of "poor quality as a farmer" and "lack of experi- 
ence or interest in farming." As far as the "other interests" group is 
concerned, almost all of the members were either good or average farmers, 
and all were respected in the community. Of the seven farmers whose 
outside farming interests were contributory to their leaving, not less 
than six had excellent ratings. Of the eight men influenced by non-farm 
occupations in their determination to leave, four were excellent and 
four were average farmers. 

The cases for whom "poor farmer," "no farming experience," and 
"no interest in farming" v/ere reported as reasons for leaving, consist 
partially of such settlers with a non-farming background as could not 
adjust themselves to farming. Surprisingly enough, another part con- 
sists of some who had previously been farmers (Table 7, p. 31, and 
Table 10, p. 34) . Among the 22 persons in these classifications, there are 
8 former farmers and 3 former sheepmen, aside from the 11 men who pre- 
viously had followed non-agricultural occupations. All but one of the 11, 
a construction engineer, were non-professional persons. They include, 
among others, a lineman, a mason, a barber, a building contractor, a 
cement worker, a cook, a merchant, and a mechanic. 

These figures suggest that, despite the fine showing of the non-farm 
group in general, every effort should be made to find out about the non- 
farmers' ability and serious desire to stick to a farming enterprise, 
particularly if their background and training do not indicate that they 
will learn quickly through experience, observation, or reading. With 
respect to an applicant's future stability, his family relationships and 
his of f-the-homestead property holdings should be considered. A drain of 
good homesteaders has taken place because members of worthy farm families 
from the surrounding areas were given preference, while neither regula- 
tions nor any special stipulations existed to induce them to concentrate 
their interests on their homesteads. 

In 18 cases, "lack of capital," or "indebtedness" motivated de- 
partures. Four of the five cases where these causes were decisive 
involved sheepmen; this group suffered most during the depression and 
has had the least opportunity since to recoup its losses, The disastrous 
decline of prices from 511-50 per ewe in 1928 to $2.50 in 1933 either 
ruined these settlers entirely or brought them to the verge of bank- 
ruptcy (Table 27). Of the four who left the project, three lost their 
sheep and their homesteads through foreclosure. The fourth, wealthier 
and shrewder than the others, saved a farm outside the Tule Lake Division 
and recently sold his homestead to pay off the mortgage encumbering his 
sheep . 

It is noteworthy that those persons whose debts or lack of capital 
were mentioned as contributory reasons for leaving had produced at se- 
lection time net-worth statements that compared favorably with the 



- 47 - 



statements reported for the tota.l group. Even excluding the sheepmen, 
whose assets in 1927 were unusually high, the average was $7,200, with a 
range of between $3,350 and $18,200, declarations of $5,000 to $6,000 pre- 
dominating. Obviously "padding" of assets at selection time took place 
on a large scale. 

It is interesting to notice the differences of opinion that charac- 
terize the attitudes of the present homesteaders toward the capital re- 
quirements of the Reclamation Service. Some maintain that the man v/ho 
possesses the least material resources is the most eager to make his 
farm a success and a permanent habitat, while the outside interests of 
the wealthy are not conducive to proper care of the homestead. Especially 
do the efficient homesteaders of humbler finances wish that preference 
be given to poorer applicants. Others admit that capital for developing 
the farm is a necessity and that being compelled to work off the home- 
stead during the first years is undesirable, 

The mean between these extremes seems to be the belief that a mini- 
mum capital limit is necessary, but that those individuals who possess 
more than the minimum should not be given a higher rating in consequence, 
certainly not beyond a limit of $5,000. 30/ The necessity for sufficient 
credit facilities at reasonable terms is stressed by all, and the bene- 
ficial results of the Federal farm loans are universally and gratefully 
acknowledged. 

Financial stringency often supplemented other reasons for leaving 
the project. Drinking, gambling, and especially marital trouble appeared 
in combination with monetary difficulties. Heavy drinking and marital 
trouble were perhaps the most absolute reasons causing settlers to leave 
the project. As a rule, habitual drunkards can remain on the project only 
by renting out or by drawing a veteran's pension. 

It is generally recognized among the homesteaders that cooperation 
and interest on the part of the wife are of outstanding importance In 
determining a settler's success. This is true not only where the wife 
contributes materially to the family income, for instance, by raising 
poultry on a commercial scale or by growing all the vegetables needed for 
home use, but even where her contribution is merely of an intangible 
nature, consisting of an active interest in the farm and in the moral 
support lent to the husband in times of stress. Thus, one young and very 
successful Bohemian homesteader with an attractive and intelligent wife 
assured the writer that "the wife is 75 percent of farming success." 
An American with a highly efficient wife of German extraction expressed 
himself in similar terms. On the other hand, in almost every case where 
marital trouble had occurred and the settlers had left the project, the 
unharmonious married life was offered as a reason for the departure, The 



30/ The $5,000 limit for increasing capital ratings has since been raised 
to $10,000 indiscriminately for all projects, without consideration of 
the particular capital requirements of each project. 



- 48 - 



single fact that a man was a bachelor or had been left by his wife was 
considered sufficient reason to explain the failure of an otherwise good 
homesteader. On the project today the older bachelor who is successful 
usually maintains a close relationship with another bachelor-brother or 
with the family of a married brother. Without such an association to pro- 
vide the human contact necessary for satisfactory living in this neighbor- 
hood of scattered homes, few single men attain success. 

That the v/ife should be satisfied with living conditions on the 
project is therefore most essential. It is typical that the wives found 
the inadequately constructed, barely furnished shacks, the dust storms, 
and the lack of schools and roads a tremendous trial at first, but that 
they eventually became reconciled to these inconveniences as they learned 
to appreciate the unusual opportunities offered by the fertility of the 
land. In certain parts of the project, complaints about the drinking 
water are still heard, but most of the early grievances, which had to do 
with school conditions and roads, have been allayed. Most v/ives also 
find the human contacts on the project to be highly satisfactory, 

The relatively few wives who could not accustom themselves to the 
new locality, and consequently persuaded their husbands to leave, were 
women with an urban background. On the other hand, many well-adjusted 
urban v/ives may be found in the families still living on the project. In 
general, an urban background appears to create much less difficulty than 
is generally assumed, Intelligent and educated men can surmount that 
obstacle, and almost every woman with some strength of character can do 
likewise. For the women, especially, good health and marital harmony are 
prerequisites, however. An ill woman with no one to help her do the 
housework, or an unhappy one with no intimates to whom she can talk, is 
likely to loathe country life. Under such circumstances, a rural girl 
might carry on more easily. 

Briefly, the most common types of settlers who sold their project 
holdings are; 

(1) The man who began homesteading with a view to 
selling the developed farm at a good price. 

(2) The man, relatively indifferent as to where ana 
by what occupation he makes a living, who stays as long as he 
can reap good returns, and sells when a comparison of what he 
may reap in the future and the price offered to him now tips 
the balance in favor of the sale. 

(3) The man whose outside interests are stronger than 
his wish to homestead. 

(4) The man who is induced to sell by ill health or old 
age. Unless the emergency is urgent, he will often wait for 
a favorable offer. 



- 49 - 



(5) The man of either urban or rural background who 
cannot "make a go of it" because he lacks farming experience, 
interest in farming, or capital. 

(6) The bachelor or the man with marital trouble. 

(7) The man whose wife is dissatisfied and urges him 
t9 soil, 

(8) The drunkard. 

Obviously there are many overlappings of these types, 

Individual_Reasons for Habitual Leasing 

Although habitual leasing of the homestead often is a step toward 
sale, frequently it is a convenient arrangement for holding an investment 
that yields a good return, or for keeping open an opportunity which, be- 
cause of certain conditions, cannot be used immediately. The reasons for 
resorting to this kind of an arrangement are even more varied than those 
given for the sale of property. Their multitudinous variety resists al- 
most any attempt at tabulation. Within the studied group, the number of 
cases is only 17, since all instances of temporary leasing in the past were 
excluded. The 17 cases listed are such that resumption of owner-operator- 
ship would presuppose incisive changes in the present circumstances of 
the lessors and is therefore much less likely than an eventual sale, 

If these scant figures permit a conclusion, old age and poor health 
apparently create a situation even more favorable to habitual leasing than 
to selling. The older people generally have relatives on the project or 
nearby. Since most of the renters are homesteaders with residences of their 
own, an aged lessor can lease his farm, but continue to occupy the 
house. Men in poor health sometimes hope to resume operations when they 
have recovered. 

Table 15-B shows that outside farming or professional interests 
exerted a relatively strong influence against operating a homestead. 
Teachers, physicians, or farmers with other property who utilized their 
homestead right exclusively for "speculative reasons" often do not live 
on the homestead, but direct crop planning and farming operations from 
nearby residences. 

Marital trouble, bachelorhood, and drinking likewise occur as rea- 
sons for habitual leasing. Laziness was another influential factor, 
indicated in 4 cases out of the 17. 



- 50 - 



Table 15-B.- Frequency of reasons for habitual leasing 1/ 



: One reason : Principal 
Reasons : among others : reason 



Acquisition for speculation 


3 


1 


Old age 


3 


3 


Poor health, man 


3 


2 


Dislike of country, v;ife 


1 





Other farming interests 


3 


2 


Other trade or professional 






interests 


4 


3 


Lack of capital 


1 





Poor farmer 


2 





No farming experience 





1 


No interest in farming 


2 





Laziness 


4 





Lack of general education 


1 





Drinking 


3 


1 


Gambling 


1 


1 


Marital trouble 


2 


1 


Bachelor 


3 





Wife dissatisfied 


1 


1 


Other family reasons 


1 





Other reasons 


2 


1 



Total 17 



1/ For detail, see Appendix p. 82. 



- 51 - 



Chapter VI 

REASONS FOR THE SUCCESS OR FAILURE OF THOSE WHO REMAIN 

Six weeks on the project and about 70 interviews with individual 
families gave the writer ample opportunity to observe the characteristics 
of the more successful and respected as well as of the less satisfactory 
families on the project. It seems that among the successful ones two 
more or less distinct types are discernible, which we would like to call 
the "farmer type" 51/ and the "speculative" or "capitalistic type," 

By "farmer type" is meant the man who has a natural inclination for 
country life, dislikes living in the city, bends every effort to develop 
his farm, and takes pride in the growth and betterment of his home, his 
land, his stock, and his family. The emphasis in his effort is on phys- 
ical work, his financial ambitions are modest, reaching not much farther 
than that the farm should provide a decent living. Often he is a family 
man, who is not deeply interested in club m^eetings, feeling that the effort 
required for active participation in community work might be spent more 
effectively on his own farm. Consequently, if he participates in cora-at 
munity life at all, it is mainly in a social way. Homesteaders of this 
type are relatively numerous on the Tule Lake Division because of the 
admixture of foreign-born elements in the 1927-28 group. The Bohemians, 
together with the few Germans and Swedes, tend to fall within this cate- 
gory, These settlers cling to their homesteads and want their children 
to grow up there. They seem, therefore, to be the ideal human material 
on which to base a settlement policy aiming at a strengthening of the 
rural sector of the population. 

The capitalistic type, on the other hand, is represented by the man 
who considers the homestead primarily as an opportunity to get a good re- 
turn from an investment. He may contemplate residing on the project for 
the minimum number of months required, spending a minimum amount of effort, 
and then cashing in on the homestead right. 

Again he may invest his savings in the homestead and may farm in 
earnest, wishing to buy or rent more land, to expand into other lines of 
business or to acquire town property, all with the eventual object of 
leaving the farm for a pleasanter and less strenuous life. The specul- 
ative homesteader is always on the verge of selling, for he is constantly 
comparing the present and probable future returns of farming with the 
possible profits he might make in another locality or business. The land 
has no sentimental appeal for him — it simply offers him an occupation to 



51/ The writer would prefer the term "peasant type," but unfortunately - 
and largely without present-day .•justification - the term "peasant" seems 
to be tinged, to American ears, with notions of medieval backwardness 
and a physical drudgery not allowing for a decent cultural and material 
level of living. 



- 52 - 



which he will cling as long as it pays him more than any other open to 
him. 

Settlers can seldom be classified as belonging absolutely to one 
type or the other. There are many shades of transition. But approxi- 
mations are clearly discernible, and in analyzing reasons for success it 
may be helpful to keep the possible range of basic attitude in mind. A 
revealing instance of tension between them is demonstrated by the way the 
older Bohemians of the native settlement, most of whom have grown-up 
sons by now, resent the preference right of the veterans, who, in their 
opinion, are all speculators. 

It will be clear from these remarks why success and stability do 
not coincide on this project. The speculative type in many instances has 
an even stronger desire to utilize his opportunity than the home-making 
farmer type. The difference between the two is more likely to consist in 
their methods of farm management. The farmer type, thinking of the fu- 
ture, does not want to exhaust his resources and places proper emphasis 
on rotation and drainage, whereas the speculator may be more careless in 
this respect. However, the fact that exhausted land ("spudded out" is 
the technical terra) sells at a considerable discount acts as an effective 
check on such tendencies. (For instance, it seems to be a clever prac- 
tice to keep the owned land in alfalfa and make the big potato money on 
rented land. ) 

Thus to a certain degree a positive attitude toward farming and a 
well-developed business sense can substitute for one another. Certainly 
the greatest love of the soil will not make business sense dispensable, 
and the best business man cannot make a success if he dislikes farming. 
But the one or the other often prevails definitely. 

A positive attitude toward farm life and farming as an occupation, 
although not always toward residence on this particular project, generally 
prevails. Many farmers expressed a genuine aversion toward the town, and 
pride and satisfaction in living in the country. The independence of 
country life was often commented on, especially by the women. Of course, 
the very high standard of living, in which almost complete electrification 
plays an important role, is largely responsible for this attitude. These 
homesteaders possess more modern conveniences such as automobiles, radios, 
hot running water, bathrooms, indoor toilets, electric refrigerators, 
stoves, and washing machines, and even oil burners than many comparable 
groups of city dwellers. Almost invariably, settlers who have built new 
houses have installed such conveniences. Others still living in home- 
stead shacks already possess some of these advantages, and most of them are 
av/aiting only an opportune time for building new and completely modern 
dwellings. Incidentally, the writer never heard the shack-dwellers com- 
plain about their own shelter conditions, nor were they regarded as oc- 
cupying an inferior social position by their neighbors with more preten- 
tious homes, since the latter have come only recently from dv/ellings 
similarly poor. 



- 53 - 



Table 16.- Dwelling accommodations of 54 homesteaders who stayed 
and operated in 1936, by classes of present net worth 



Present net worth 









$10,000 


$20,000 


$30,000 


$40,000 






T ^r\ Hot* 




tn 


t o 


J5 H 


Item : 


Total 


^10,000 


19.999- 


29 , 999 


39,999 


over 


Miimhpr of homp=>t padpr=? 


54 


9 


24 


12 


3 


6 


Avpracp npt worth 














1936 (dollars) 


20,601 


5 , 884 


14, 600 


25 292 


35, 132 


50 , 037 


















1 645 


1 039 


1 , 140 


? 85? 


? 667 


1 567 1 / 

X , t X/ 


Number of homesteaders 










































Ui WUUU. 




















7 




1 

X 


o 
<c 






o 
«c 


7 




1 

X 


1 

X 






4 


q 


4 


1 

X 






1 

X 






X 




















WX [/Li ilUUoco t?CJUXppt?U. 














with — 














uii Durners 


A 

4 


1 


o 


1 






oenurax neax.ing 


O 




1 


2 






ixunning waxer 




4 


id 


8 


3 


D 


T4o+ urii + CP 


26 


3 


a 

o 


8 


3 




Bathroom 


30 


4 


10 


9 3/ 3 


4 


xnsxcie xoixex 


24 


3 


Q 

o 


7 


3 


-r 
O 


Electric lights 


50 


9 


21 


11 


3 


6 


Electric stove 


33 


5 


13 


7 


3 


5 


Electric refrigerator 


24 


1 


10 


8 


1 


4 


Electric washing 














machine 


46 


6 


21 


10 


3 


6 


Telephone 


13 4/ 


4 


5 




4 


Radio 


44 


6 


18 


11 


3 


6 



1/ Three of these homesteaders are living in shacks valued at $200, $200, 
and $500. 

2/ No reports for 2 farms. 

3/ One house with bathroom but not running water. 

4/ The small number of homesteaders with telephones is mainly caused by 
the fact that the users have to pay extra charges for calls to town and even 
to other parts of the project. 



- 54 - 



In any case, however, a certain degree of business sense is re- 
quired for success on this project, and it may be even more important 
than a thorough technical knowledge of farming. The optimum type-of- 
farming for the project has not yet been established. The violent 
and divergent price fluctuations of the past decade and a rapid develop- 
ment of marketing facilities have prevented the establishment of any 
definite type-of-farming tradition. A man decides more or less from year 
to year what he will do. Since the soil is very rich, he can afford more 
easily to violate conservative farming practices for a time than to make 
mistakes in his business forecasts. Moreover, the farmers of the area 
must be able to negotiate v,'ith first-rate dealers. They must learn like- 
wise to deal with the high-pressure salesmen of farm machinery. The lure 
of machinery is great and the temptation to overbuy is hard to resist. 
Again, the frequent offers of farms for sale or rent test the business 
sense. 

There.fore, a working knowledge of the essentials of marketing and a 
vigilant attention to markets and prices are required. An educated ob- 
server living on the project expressed the opinion that the reading matter 
of the applicants should be given primary consideration in selection. 
Perhaps information on the way the radio is used would be equally revealing. 
Indeed, the "good farmers" practically without exception use the radio and 
the newspaper extensively for crop and market reports, and some of them 
mentioned the benefits to be derived from government bulletins dealing 
with the market situation. That most of the homesteaders themselves 
realize the importance of managerial and business ability is proven by 
their statements ascribing the failure of others to the lack of these 
qualifications . 

To say that a farmer must be industrious to be successful is trite, 
Yet industry may be expressed in various ways, depending on the type of 
the individual concerned. The farmer type expresses industry largely 
by physical exertion, the speculative type largely by the intellectual ef- 
fort required for observing markets, calculating, planning, and negotiat- 
ing for an expansion of business. 

The relationship between health and success is neither clear- 
cut nor uniform. The influence exerted by illness and physical handi- 
caps depends upon the character and the temperament of the individual. 
Some persons respond to certain physical afflictions with over-compen- 
sating mechanisms. It is the opinion of physicians that an ailment which 
is the outgrowth of constitutional inferiority is less likely to call 
forth such mechanisms than is a handicap acquired later in life, especial- 
ly through injury or infection. Among the most successful and ef- 
ficient farmers visited, at least three had serious organic trouble and 
several others were handicapped by crippling injuries. In fact, all of 
the men with serious injuries and some of those with grave organic dis- 
orders were good farmers and respected citizens, v/hile not one of the 
unsuccessful men was afflicted similarly. Evidently physical handicaps 



- 55 - 



should not exclude an applicant, so long as the nature of the defect does 
not make farm work impossible. 

There are some exceptions. Probably tuberculosis should be regard- 
ed differently, since it will not only preclude physical exertion but may 
incline a person toward an unstable frame of mind. An attempt should be 
made to exclude veterans with a compensation neurosis and men with ob- 
vious symptoms of degeneration. 

As was stressed in the discussion of the reasons for leaving the 
homestead, the cooperation and the interest of the wife are of para- 
mount importance. While there are some exceptions, most of the first- 
rate farmers have helpful and intelligent wives who like living on the 
proj eot , 



- 56 - 



Chapter VII 

RELATION BETWEEN REASONS FOR INSTABILITY AND CRITERIA APPLIED 

IN SELECTION 

That the total of homesteaders selling out (up to the time of the 
conclusion of this survey in 1936) included a fairly large number of good 
farmers and respected citizens, was shov/n in Chapter V. This suggests 
the existence of weighty reasons for instability that have nothing to do 
with the quality of the homesteaders. As the criteria applied in the 
selection procedure pertain only to "quality" in general, without regard 
to stability, this means that in a large number of cases the reasons for 
leaving could not have been forestalled with the present procedure, even 
if its four criteria had been 100 percent perfectly applied. 

The reasons for leaving may be divided into five groups according 
to the manner in which they are related to selection: 

1. Some might be forestalled by a perfected application of the 
present method. 

2. Others might be counteracted by incorporating nev/ features in 
the selection method or in the general requirements for homesteading on 
irrigation projects. 

3. Still others might be forestalled by selection methods which, 
however, v/ould not be applicable on Federal Reclamation Projects. 

4. Some might be prevented to a certain extent by better technical 
advice and by closer cooperation between authorities of the Reclamation 
Service and the farmers. 

5. Finally, there are reasons that cannot be counter-balanced so 
long as good irrigation projects are homesteaded, but that might pos- 
sibly be reduced in importance by modifications of the homesteading regu- 
lations . 

Some comments on the five groups of reasons follow. 

Group 1: This includes such reasons as "lack of farming experience," 
"lack of capital," "laziness," and "poor health" (unless contracted later 
on the homestead) . 

From the stories of the homesteaders it is evident that the little 
"quiz" in farming experience given in 1927 was not a thorough one. But it 
seems probable that this point has been taken care of since the early 
days of selection to which our data refer. It goes without saying that 
the reliability of farm-experience ratings depends entirely on the capa- 
bility of the selection board. 

Provided capital requirements are consistent with individual pro- 
ject conditions, lack of capital should not occur if dependable net 



- 57 - 



worth statements can be obtained. On the Tule Lake Division the initial 
fault lay in the absence of a proper checking system. But this has been 
corrected, partially at least, in later years; now the applicant's local 
banker is usually asked for an opinion on the applicant's net worth. It 
might be worth while to investigate whether or not a system could be 
devised requiring an applicant to supplement his own statements with 
certifications from a public appraising agency covering existent assets 
and their value and, if possible, all outstanding indebtedness. Further- 
more, if loss of the homestead right were made the penalty for deliberate 
misrepresentation, an even higher degree of reliability might be obtained. 

Departures from the project due to laziness might be checked to 
some extent by improving the reference procedure. The questions on the 
present blank are far too few, too general, and too crude. It is very im- 
portant that a range of rather finely graded replies be suggested for each 
question, since the "black-or-white" type of questions leads to failure. 
For example, the gradation on the reference sheet for the topic "industry" 
might be as follows: 32 / "Industrious, hard worker," "good worker," 
"fair worker," "lazy," "loafer." .Such a question should be addressed to 
a former employer, or preferably to several, to preclude possible bias. 
In the cases of a former farmer, the officers of the farm organization, 
Chamber of Commerce, Community Club, or the like, in his home neighborhood 
might contribute pertinent information, With proper discounting of the 
ratings thus obtained, this method might have some effect in reducing 
"laziness" as a reason for leaving. 55/ 

Without exception, the health status of the applicant and his 
family should be examined. In 1927 this requirement evidently received 
only superficial attention. Since the applicants for irrigation home- 
steads are of a relatively high social rank and financial level, health 
certificates (for example, blanks prepared by the Bureau of Reclamation, 
filled in and attested by a doctor who is preferably a public health 
officer) should not be difficult to obtain. A physician should be a 
mandatory member of the selection board; and, with such certificates as 
a basis, he could judge rather well whether or not living and working 
conditions on a project would prove too exacting for the prospective 



52/ This was the form used in selection of applicants by the Resettle- 
ment Administration (now Farm Security Administration) for the Cumberland 
Homesteads Project in Tennessee. 

35/ The very first reference sheet used by the Reclamation Office in a 
few Tule Lake cases contained a checking device for graded answers. 
It could be seen even from these few cases that the references like to 
rate a man as "good" instead of "excellent" when they want to express 
doubt without openly damaging his chances. 



- 58 - 



settler and his family. 34/ 

Group 2: The present procedure might be stretched to cover 
both marital status and drinking and gambling proclivities. Bach- 
elors or men whose wives do not want to move on the homestead could easily 
be excluded by a readjustment of the general requirements having to do 
with citizenship, etc. Young, unmarried men might be given a chance to 
file but proving up might be forbidden unless they were married. It 
seems also worth investigating whether single women should not be ex- 
cluded. Their showing on the Tule Lake Division makes it doubtful wheth- 
er they are not in general incapable of becoming successful farm oper- 
ators. Satisfactory arrangements involving single women were found only 
in several cases where two brothers and a mother had units close together 
and where the brothers operatd the mother's unit cooperatively. In- 
clinations toward drinking and gambling might be detected by including 
relevant inquiries in the blank sent out to the references. That the 
right kind of people be addressed, and that no black-or-white answers be 
suggested, cannot be stressed too emphatically. An even more effective 
policy would be to deny the habitual drunkard or gambler his privilege 
Of final proof. 

In the writer's opinion, the introduction of ratings on business 
ability and general intelligence v;ould improve the forecasting value of 
the total ratings. While an estimate of business ability might be founded 
on information secured from banks previously dealing with the applicants, 
the board's composite impression of the applicant should predominate in 
fixing the rating. The rating on intelligence should be left entirely to 
the judgment of the board. Logical sequence would place it at the very 
end of the interview. 

Group 3: There is another group of reasons impelling settlers 
to leave the project which, though of outstanding importance, no revision 
of the selection scheme can handle practicably within the present set-up 
for homesteading irrigation land. 

Personality features and factors in family life, for instance, 
can be brought out only through the closer contacts provided by case-work 
methods. Visits to the home and family interviews (or possibly, since 
they are infinitely more revealing, separate interviews with husband and 
wife) would be desirable. The class of people involved in the settle- 
ment of Reclamation projects and their relations to the Government are 



34/ It will be shown later that certain information easily obtainable 
for destitute resettlement applicants cannot be secured for irrigation 
homesteaders. The reverse is true here. It is one of the great handi- 
caps of resettlement selection that a medical examination is often im- 
practicable because of the costs. But the examination should be possible 
for reclamation prospects. The settler in Germany who wants a "new 
peasant's certificate" is required to submit much more elaborate data on 
his physical status at his own expense. 



- 59 - 



such, however, that this approach seems impracticable; for these settlers 
are very sensitive about alleged governmental "prying into tlieir private 
affairs." 

Thus the immensely important factor, "desire to live and work on a 
farm," defies any successful investigation, while the degree of family 
harmony remains equally impossible to ascertain. Although family trouble 
is relatively easy to diagnose by case-work methods, "desire to farm" 
presents a serious problem for any type of selection procedure. 

Group 4: In the course of this study, several cases were discovered 
of settlers who had left the project because of alkalied land. (The 
author is not competent to say whether or not this result was avoidable, 
but there was no evidence of organized cooperation between the Reclamation 
Service and the homesteaders to fight the alkali danger) . Moreover, the 
homesteaders do not seem to have a clear conception of the real extent of 
the threat or the time when it may become acute. Inquiries regarding the 
problem put to 10 or 20 farmers were answered in the most confused and 
contradictory terms, Attitudes ranged from an utter lack of concern to 
a frame of mind resulting in outright sale of the homestead for this rea- 
son alone. Even in the northeastern section, where the danger is espe- 
cially great, differences in opinion were wide. 35/ 

Seemingly, too, technical advice has not been sufficiently available 
to the homesteaders. In one part of the project, the farmers have strug- 
gled for nine years to eradicate salt grass. Every farmer has his own 
patent solution which he has developed after many years of experimen- 
tation. Obviously, much energy and money might have been saved by early 
instruction, A similar situation exists as regards the kind of potato 
seed best adapted to the short growing season. A peculiar situation re- 
garding the availability of a county agent and his services is to a large 
extent responsible for the lack of technical advice. The highly efficient 
and respected county agent for Klamath County. Oregon, stationed at 
Klamath Falls, is the only official of the sort near the project. In the 
days of early settlement, he took care of the entire Tule Lake Division, 
including those parts located within the California boundaries. Later, 
however, he had to restrict himself to his own county. Thus, since the 
agents theoretically accountable for the California counties are more than 
100 miles av/ay, a large proportion of the homesteaders, including nearly 
all those covered by this study, were left without expert advice. 

Group 5: The last group of reasons for homesteader instability 
has nothing whatsoever to do with quality or selection and cannot be 



35/ Several farmers in this section complained because the promised 
canal to bring clean water from Clear Lake Dam had not materialized. 
Instead, they received from the J-Canal water which allegedly was par- 
tially polluted by drainage from the higher land near Merrill. 



- 60 - 



forestalled by any change of method. Unfortunately, it is the most im- 
portant group of all. It comprises "other professional interests," 
"dislike of country," "wife dissatisfied," to some extent "other family 
reasons," and, above all, "speculation." 

All these influences are closely interrelated, and they all center 
around the speculative possibilities inherent in horaesteading on excel- 
lent land. Who would buy a farm in a part of the country he dislikes? 
Or who would turn to farming v»'hen he must drag along and almost tie down 
an unwilling wife? Who would play light-heartedly with the idea of re- 
suming a former occupation if his farm had been acquired by purchase? 
But when valuable land with abundant water at relatively low rates can be 
had as a gift and freely sold at a high price after a moderate invest- 
ment of time and effort, the allurement proves almost irresistible. Un- 
attractive features of the country receive little attention. The wife is 
either persuaded or bullied into accepting the proposition. The settler 
quiets his personal doubts as to whether he will like farming by reflect- 
ing that he can always return to his earlier occupation when his holding 
has been cashed in for several thousands of dollars. For that matter, 
he thinks the money will be very helpful in establishing an independent 
business. 

Even farmers and members of their families with farm property 
adjacent to the project frequently show a lack of stability as a result 
of the speculative enticements of homesteading , Whenever openings are 
in prospect, everyone in the vicinity who can qualify is eager to file. 
Whether or not he needs a permanent home is of little consequence. Then, 
as the land is so easily obtained, any minor excuse will serve for its 
disposal. Family trouble of a rather light nature, an inheritance, or 
the opportunity to buy another farm nearer the folks are reasons for a 
sale . 

None of these forces making for instability could be diminished by 
the most perfect selection method. Something might be achieved, however, 
by tightening the regulations as to the type of residence and the per- 
centage of acreage in crops required for proving up. A satisfactory 
dwelling not only is evidence of an intention to make the place a per- 
manent house but in its turn becomes a tie that binds a family more close- 
ly to the farm. The results might be beneficial, too, if homesteaders 
were permitted to lease only by special authorization until final proof 
is offered or, possibly, until construction charges are paid. Non- 
operating professional men and others to whom home acquisition means 
nothing would thus be excluded. However, such rules would be feasible 
only in conjunction with a hitherto lacking organization to provide 
cheap credit for farm development. Otherwise, the last rule especially 
would mean discrimination against those settlers whose leasing during the 
first few years is necessitated by insufficient capital for land develop- 



- 61 - 



ment and the ensuing compulsion to look for outside work. 56/ 

By way of summary it may be said that, insofar as conditions on the 
Tule Lake Division allow inferences, turnover on reclamation projects 
might be decreased by the following expedients: 

1. A close check on the capital statements of applicants. 

2. A requirement that health certificates be issued by physicians 
(preferably public health officers), to be considered by a medical member 
of the selection board. 

3. Improvement of references; to be effected by a more thorough 
procedure with respect to persons addressed, features covered, and form of 
suggested answers, and by amending the reference sheet to include queries 
on industry, business ability, drinking, and gambling. 

4. Inclusion of ratings on business ability and general intelli- 
gence . 

5. Introduction of requirements concerning marital status and 
reasonable sobriety; revision of regulations to demand for final proof a 
better type of dwelling and, possibly, a greater percentage of acreage 
in crops. 

6. Prohibition of leasing before final proof or, preferably, until 
construction charges are paid (possible only in conjunction with satis- 
factory credit arrangements). 

7. Provision for continuous technical advice and close cooperation 
with the homesteaders in solving problems that defy individual solution, 
as, for instance, the alkali problem. 

As these proposals do not try to attack the fundamental problem 
of homestead speculation, they could be expected to lessen the turnover 
only to a limited extent. 



36/ The attitude taken in the Haw-Schmitt report of 1934 with respect to 
tenancy is rather indefinite. On p. 84, after lamenting the evils of 
tenancy on projects, the authors continue: "Proposals have been made 
by some that so long as the government has a creditor interest in a rec- 
lamation farm, tenant farming be permitted only on a special authoriza- 
tion. The committee is not convinced of the soundness or adequacy of 
this proposal. While it is not able to suggest an effective method, it 
believes that the problem should have further attention." Report on 
Federal Reclamation to the Secretary of the Interior, December 1, 1934. 
Department of the Interior, Washington, D. C, 1935. 



- 62 - 



Chapter VIII 

GENERAL CONCLUSIONS 

The analysis of the selection procedure on the Tule Lake Division of 
the Klamath Irrigation Project strengthens the conviction that family 
selection is a worth-while undertaking. The appraisals of the selection 
board and the quality later demonstrated by the settlers were found to be 
fairly well correlated. Low appraisals, particularly, showed a high de- 
gree of reliability. Therefore, had applications outnumbered homestead 
opportunities, the selection process would have excluded many more un- 
desirable than desirable applicants. 

Two modifications might take place in cases of selection where this 
condition would apply, As they work in opposite directions, the results 
might still be substantially the same. For one, under such circumstances 
the rating would be done with more meticulous care. This should lead to 
the expectation that the number of rejected persons would contain an even 
higher ratio of undesirable to desirable applicants than the one derived 
from the data on low-rated applicants on the Tule Lake Division. (The 
latter, including the mediocre with the undesirable would have been 5 to 1, 
on the assumption, for instance,, that all persons rated 85 or less would 
have been rejected.) 

This tendency, however, will be counteracted by another. As the 
ratio of applications to available homesteads advances, the proportion of 
justified eliminations will inevitably decline, other things (for example, 
care in rating) being equal. For while it is relatively simple to isolate 
the worst prospects, it is far more difficult to distinguish between those 
that are medium and excellent. And this distinction becomes essential 
when applicants reach such a number that only the very best can be ad- 
mitted. Taking the data obtained for Tule Lake as a basis, the ratio of 
rejected desirable to rejected mediocre and undesirable applicants would 
have increased with a rising flow of applications in the following pro- 
portions : 



: which would have been 
If all applicants up: the case with appli- 
to a total rating of:cations being. . .per- 
.. .would have had to: cent of possible 
be rejected, : admissions. 



the re.jected 



excelle n t l/:mediocre and poor 
applicants would have com- 
prised . . . percent of the 
rejected total: 



75 
80 
85 
90 
95 



103 
109 
128 
179 
296 




9 

17 
30 
36 



100 
91 
83 
70 
64 



1/ First three classes on Table 19. 



- 63 - 



The two last columns clearly reveal that the proportion of rejected good 
prospects, equal care of selection assumed, would mount quickly as ap- 
plications exceed available homesteads, These figures are of special 
interest with relation to projects where the flow of applications usually 
is the manifold of available units. 

However, in most cases the danger of rejecting good applicants 
will be at least partially checked by increasing care of selection. 
Furthermore, the primary aim of selection is, after all, to eliminate 
those really bad cases who would be detrimental to the project, rather 
than to be unobj ectionably correct in admitting only applicants even the 
worst of whom would be superior to the best among the rejected. And that 
this primary aim is more easily attained with many than with few applica- 
tions, provided the poor prospects contribute equal proportions of the 
total of applicants, is shown by the following figures, derived from 
the Tule Lake material: 







which 


would have 


been 




If 


all applicants up 


the case with appli- 


. . . percent of all 


to 


a total rating of 


cations being . . 


per- 


poor prospects 1/ who 




would have had to 


cent 


of possible 


ad- 


applied would have 




be rejected, 




missions , 




been excluded: 




75 




103 




8 




80 




109 




19 




85 




128 




42 




90 




179 




73 




95 




296 




88 



1/ Last (excluding "Other") three groups on Table 19. 

Thus, if all those rated 95 or lower had been rejected, 88 percent 
of the homesteaders who later proved to be undesirable as either farm- 
ers or citizens, or both, would have been excluded, 

Confidence in family selection is further reinforced by the fact 
that the procedure of the Bureau of Reclamation is more or less elementary 
and technically imperfect. Finer methods, particularly those employed in 
case work, should tend to give even better results. Care should be exer- 
cised, however, that an inferiority of judgment in the selection person- 
nel does not outweigh the presumable superiority of the method. The 
most elaborate device in the hands of a single social worker, particularly 
an inexperienced one, might be less effective than a few hit-or-miss 
ratings established by several realistic practitioners who have had ex- 
tensive dealings with persons comparable to the applicants. Therefore, 
when selection is based largely on field work, the judgment of the single 
field investigator should be carefully checked against personal impres- 
sions as reported by an experienced selection staff. This combination 
of a preparatory intensive case analysis by an individual worker and the 
final selection by a committee is characteristic of the procedure employed 



- 64 - 



on Resettlement projects. With a system more refined and a personnel no 
less competent than that functioning at Tule Lake, the results of selec- 
tion can be anticipated with confidence. 

Another equally important conclusion derived from this study is that 
the quality of applicants as farmers and citizens is far from being the 
only determinant of their stability as homesteaders, Failure as a farmer 
may lead to moving, but many other reasons will have the same effect. 
Whether people will strike root or leave is to a considerable extent 
outside the control of selection. More than by any intricacies of the 
selection method proper, instability should be prevented by creating sound 
economic, social, and hygienic conditions on the project, by helping the 
homesteaders to get adjusted through proper technical advice and coopera- 
tion in such vital economic problems as cannot be solved through indi- 
vidual effort, and by delimiting from the outset the circle of appli- 
cants in accordance with the specific requirements of the project. 

This conclusion has different implications for Resettlement than it 
has for Reclamation. Resettlement does not have to cope with the impor- 
tunate speculative features of homesteading . (However, on those projects 
where prospective settlers are engaged in construction work at relative- 
ly high wages, the opportunity to secure temporary employment may some- 
times have a similar effect. This, too, makes it hard to discern the ser- 
ious and lasting "desire to farm.") Moreover, technical advisory ser- 
vices and cooperation between management and homesteaders are established 
parts of Resettlement procedure. 

On the other hand, the Resettlement Administration bears a much 
greater responsibility for a secure economic foundation to support its 
projects. Its clients, in contrast to Federal Reclamation settlers, are. 
equipped as a class with few or no capital resources of their own. Re- 
settlement clients receive their homesteads more or less ready-made, the 
use to be made of the land is in general a pre-established feature, and 
during the first years even the annual farm plans have necessarily to be 
made in close cooperation between the individual settler and the project 
management. The temptation for the settler is great, therefore, to rely 
more on the directions of the management than on his personal initiative. 

This difference has an important bearing on settler stability. It 
may confidently be assumed that the same difficulties will lead to quite 
different psychological repercussions when a man knows they are due to his 
own lack of foresight than when he can blame them on faulty plans of a 
project management. In the first case, he will try to conceal and do 
better, In the second, he will expose, exaggerate, and possibly leave, 
after having infected the other settlers with his discontent. Apparently, 
therefore, Resettlement policy would do well to foster in each client a 
sense of responsibility for his own farming plans and for his share in the 
early self-liquidation of the project management. It is self-evident, 
hov/ever, that the best of technical advice should be a permanent part 
of the program. 



- 65 - 



Some elastinity as to the size of farms seems highly desirable in 
any typft of land settlement. On reclamation projects, where bare land is 
turned over to the settlers, such elasticity is particularly necessary 
because much larger acreages can be handled by one farmer when the land is 
developed than when it is still in the development stage. In addition, 
on reclamation as well as on other projects, differences in individual 
efficiency, the varying labor supply induced by the "family cycle," and 
the individual life cycle in the physical power of the farmer himself 
call for a certain degree of elasticity. 

On the Tule Lake Division, it v;as found that this elasticity was 
provided by settlers who desired to leave or lease. If these operators 
had not withdrawn, leaving land that could be used by others, the project 
would have lost many of its best and roost ambitious men, Where it is con- 
sidered an evil to pay for the expansion and resultant stability of the 
most efficient by instability of the rest, the group settled at the same 
time should be composed of varying age classes. In this case, the total 
land requirement of the group would remain about the same for a long per- 
iod of time, and only the possibility of mutually leasing part of the 
original hom.esteads (up to a maximum limit) would be required to provide 
for the desired elasticity. Where such a policy is not feasible, a pro- 
vision for land reserves might offer a solution. 37/ 

With respect to the value of individual criteria, farming experience, 
measured not in years but years weighted by ability to utilize experience, 
is a highly important but not indispensable qualification. It is of real 
value largely in areas where long-established types of farming prevail. 
In a relatively new area where there is much experimentation as to choice 
of crops and farm practices, it is replaceable for the most part by gen- 
eral education, intelligence, business ability, and willingness to read 
and observe. This is especially true when men with little experience but 
considerable intelligence are interspersed among a group of experienced 
farmers. Under such conditions, the former have ample opportunity to 
profit by the example of others. In a group composed entirely of in- 
experienced men, lack of farming experience may prove much more dis- 
advantageous. Wherever mental alertness is not a common quality, it may 
be well to place more emphasis on this criterion. These observations 
probably hold for projects of any kind. 

Physical health and vigor should be examined carefully. For every 
member of each family as much material should be collected on this subject 
as possible. The presence of a physician on the selection staff would 
be highly desirable. His function should not be to exclude mechanically 
all persons with ailments and handicaps; rather, it should be to formulate 
an intelligent judgment as to the part these ailments and handicaps may 



37/ It is recognized that both proposals are more or less impracticable 
on irrigated homesteads. The physical exertion necessary to develop an 
irrigated homestead sets a fairly low age limit, save for settlers with 
grown-up sons. The keeping of land reserves is entirely impossible for 
financial considerations. 



- 66 - 



play within the mental framework of the particular individual . That the 
physician should regard his work in this light is essential not only be- 
cause certain physical weaknesses in persons of strong character often 
act as a stimulant toward greater effort, but also because physically 
handicapped persons should be assisted to find a suitable place in life. 

When references are employed, questions should be formulated to 
cover individual, delimited qualifications. Answers based on a detailed 
scale of ratings should be suggested for checking, particular care being 
taken to include replies which, although they are not actually derogatory, 
do not indicate unqualified approval. 



- 67 - 



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- 78 - 



METHODOLOGICAL NOTE 

To test the value of the selection method, it was necessary to have 
full data both on the appraisal of the settlers at selection time and on 
the later development of the settlers as homesteaders. 

The first group of data, consisting of application blanks, refer- 
ences, and the ratings of the selection board, was obtained through the 
courtesy of the Bureau of Reclamation and the office of the project super- 
intendent at Klamath Falls. This material included also the individual 
water-user census cards for every year since 1927. The water-user census 
is taken every fall by the Reclamation Office. The cards contain infor- 
mation on the value of the farm, on the improvements made since homestead- 
ing, and on the machinery and livestock possessed. They show also the 
amount and value of crops grown during the current year. These data made 
it possible to form a preliminary judgment as to the farming achievements 
of the individual settlers. 

In a field survey made during October and November of 1936, the 
writer obtained the necessary information concerning the development of 
the homesteaders. Working in cooperation with the local Reclamation 
Office, she ascertained which families of the 1927-28 group had sold out, 
which were still on the project, and which of these were operating or 
leasing. The office explained as fully as possible why certain fami- 
lies had gone. During a 6-weeks' stay on the project, about 70 families 
were interviev/ed in their homes. The family history prior to homesteading. 
accounts of their progress on and their attitude toward the project, and 
statem.ents of their present net worth were obtained, Supplementary in- 
quiries regarding the health of the family while homesteading, misfor- 
tunes such as fires or crop failures, schooling of children, and support 
of dependent relatives disclosed most of the expenses and losses incurred 
for these items. Facts relative to the value and quality of automobiles 
and houses were collected at the same time. By questioning the families 
information was also obtained concerning former neighbors who were no 
longer on the project, and their reasons for leaving. 

It was hoped that the selection study would be able to draw exten- 
sively on a family-living survey undertaken at the same time on the Tule 
Lake Division by the Resettlement Administration and the United States 
Department of Agriculture, Division of Farm Population and Rural Life, 
cooperating. Of the families covered by both surveys, however, only about 
40 were identical. Insofar as the families coincided, the information on 
cars and houses obtained through the standard-of-living survey was used. 

The visits of the writer, announced by letters from the county agent 
at Klamath Falls and further explained in the local newspaper, for the 
most part were very satisfactory. High spirits engendered by the extreme- 
ly favorable economic situation on the project in 1936 aided in creating 
a generally friendly attitude toward the field investigator. Really 
valuable help was rendered by several farmers and their wives in exploring 



- 79 - 



the economic and psychological factors conditioning the development of 
the project. 

In general, separate interviews with husband and wife were much more 
satisfactory than joint interviews. When they were together, each 
appeared reluctant to say anything of which the other might disapprove. 
Economic factors, usually, were discussed more thoroughly by the men. 
The psychological factors were far more clearly disclosed by the women, 
Nevertheless, most of the women displayed an intimate knowledge of, and an 
excellent memory for, details concerning the economic development of the 
family farm. 

That the educational level of the persons on the project averaged 
very high is decidedly significant here. Many of the women, for instance, 
were former school teachers. In general, the quantity and quality of the 
information yielded was in direct relation to the educational level and 
the prosperity of the persons interviewed. Only when homesteaders were 
questioned about their former neighbors was the contrary true. General- 
ly speaking, the better the moral fiber of a man, the more reserved he 
was on this point. But, after several farmers had been asked in turn 
about each man who had left or had become a habitual lessor, fairly com- 
plete material was gathered also on this subject. 

Not all the families still operating their homesteads could be con- 
tacted. Some were away on trips; a few refused cooperation. On the other 
hand, several families were interviewed who, although they still lived on 
the project, no longer operated their homesteads. 

At the end of the survey a committee was assembled for the purpose 
of re-rating all the members of the 1927-28 group on the basis of their 
accomplishments during the 9-year period. The committee consisted of an 
official from the Bureau of Reclamation, the county agent for Klamath 
County who had served on the original rating committee, the banker with 
whom most of the farmers dealt constantly, and two outstanding home- 
steaders, one of them the local agent for the Federal farm loans. Some 
ratings on sheepmen who were personally unknown to the committee members 
were obtained from a homesteader in charge of the local Stock Growers' 
Loan Association. 

Each homesteader was to be rated separately for success, effort, 
and social standing in the community. It was decided that the ratings 
should be 1, 2, and 3, indicating "high," "average," or "low" grades 
respectively. The simple discontinuous ratings "1, 2, 3" were preferred 
to the finer ratings of a continuous rating scale because, aside from con- 
siderations as to the later statistical treatment of the data (see pp. 
12-13), they were easier to obtain and at least as reliable, the committee 
members finding it easy to agree on one of them in all but a very few 
cases. Occasionally plus or minus signs were attached to the ratings 



- 80 - 



when the case required, or when opinions were divided. It was the writ- 
er's impression that the ratings were given in a spirit of fairness, and 
that they did represent to a large degree the agreement of opinion among 
the members of the committee. A check was provided in that the banker 
had given his ratings separately at a preliminary session. His judgment 
showed a marked agreement with that of the other committee members. 



- 81 - 



LIST I 

INOIVIOU«L REASONS FOR SELLING THE HOMESTEAD 
XX - PRINCIPAL REASON 

X - ONE i>£4S0i( li/OM'3 OT"EP$ 



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ij 


c 


9 




'.fc5(5 


— - — 


XX 
















_ 

J- 






























18 


T 


3 




t.W 

^'^^ 


— ~ — 


X 














— — 

z 




























' — ^r* — 






c 


g 


s 


10.150 














































XX 




ao 


T 


8 




^.150 

- <^7^ 




zz — 

XX 










— 

* 




































?i 


C 


? 




2. "03 




Z 






TT 

U — 








































22 


c 






2.813 




JP[ 
















































c 




J7 — 


5.2^) 


























t 

a 


TT 












X 










% 


c 






10.500 




























X 
























c 


5 


V 


?.w 
































X 




X 




XX 












c 


8 


s 




























X 


XX 






















27 


y 


8 


s 


fe.3«0 














































XX 




ZS 


c 


7 


u 


2.10(5 




. X 
















X 








X 












XX 












y 


5 




5.6M 




X 










X 


X 














X 
















TT 




% 


y 


« 


u 


5.WO 










— 5C[ — 








































31 


y 


8 


s 


U,2M 




























X 


X 










XX 










32 


y 


b 


V 


5.500 














z 












rf 


























c 


7 




n.235 


















z 






zx 


X 


























y 


7 


s 


2.220 




















































c 


3 


V 


2.*>5 




X 
















XX 






z 


























c 


8 


V 


11.095 




XX 














































37 


c 




1/ 




















% 


































c 


3 


s 


12^.225 














































XX 






c 


9 


I 


li.375 


















z 


































y 


9 


I' 


b.939 




X 
















































y 


k 


5 


g.'*50 
















































xxZ/ 




y 






e.5(X5 


























X 






X 








XX 












c 






3.^ 
















X 






X 
























XX 






y 


2 








X 
















XX 








X 












X 












c 




V 


3.35" 
























X 


X 














XX 














2 


V 


7,lb5_ 












































X 






17 ' T 


-4 


s 3.250 














X 


X 










X 


X 
















XX 






Us 1 y 




s "i.oca 
























X 


XX 










X 






X 








«9 ' c 


8 


1 V \ 3.350 


























XX 


X 










X 












W T 




s 


5.370 




XX 


















X 




























SI : T 




u 


I55I 




X 
















XX 






























■52 : T 




II 


fe.922 




X 
















XX 






























53 


y 




V 


3.yi7 


X 


X 
















XX 






























9i 




7 


s 


20,0*3 


























X 


XX 






















55 


y 






3.125 










XX 







































1/ C - c!Tlll«n; V - Toteraa. 

^ SheepaftD. 

^ Lsnd alkali ed. 

M/ Uoney froa aale frJt Id otber fani. owned elmlteneTOily. 

5/ Wife did not join toieband on the project. 

y Tarmlng done In old CTintry et/le. 

7/ lanted larger fani, 

8/ Stoc'4 ranch. 



- 82 



1 Reasons 


9U08G8J JQu^'^if 




































iCXlnnsj jemo 






































ti 


































joxenr^a 
















K 
















X 




aTQTicji T191 usn 


















w 










X 






































































X 


X 








UO^iBOTipe 

JO l;OBl 


































X 


























X 




X 








ISdJdlUX OH 




































eous^sdxe 
Su^nuBj OH 


































K 
X 


JBTHl-dJ pOOS Oii 










K 








X 























































tei tdeo JO 3(3^1 




X 
































XBUofaaejoad 














K 

X 




X 




a 

PS 








X 






s d.z a^u'( 
SufiiuB J jamo 




































a J til - Aj^nnoo 
JO a>,TTB ia 




































usw - £j.%\rciO0 
jc aiivtsia 




































<SJU 

- mx^aU J00<J 




































- mxeaq aooj 


























X 










PIO 




















R 
















pnwx Jood 




































no HBX^eda 
aoj paj^nii 
-OB xrea^aemoH 
























X 






X 






uouua^u; ok 
























X 














o 

«^ 


Q 
o 


o 

K\ 


o 
a> 

CJ 


O 


as 

KN 


f-H 
to 


o 

8 


a> 

r-l 




KN 


o 
<r> 


o 
p. 


P. 
cu 


BO 


o 

CVI 


o 
co 




a 


> 

s 




a 


3 






to 


S 


a 




a 




2 




to 


a 




> 


O 


o 


o 


> 




> 






o 


o 


t» 


o 








> 


Case 
number 




CVI 












CO 




o 




C\J 






iri 




1 



5 .-g 




- 83 - 



LIST III 

INDICATORS OF FINANCIAL SUCCESS (NET WORTH 1927 OR 1928 
AND 1936, RESIDENCES, CARS) OF 54 HOMESTEADERS 
STILL OPERATING IN 1936 





! ' 






tBatlo of net: 












: Total : 






: worth 1936 : 


Value of reel-: 




Car 




Case 


:lnltlal: 


Net 


worth 


;to net worthrdence dwelling! 


Year of • 


Value : 


Value 


number 


: rating : 


1927- C3 


•■ 1936 1/ 


; 1927-28 t 


October 1936 : purchase : 


mben new: October 1936 


1 


92. 


$2,950 


(fell "7 C T(0 

$'*7,532 


lb. 11 


$200 


1935 


$785 


$500 


2 


9'+.75 


3.825 


^.390 


11.87 


500 


1935 


1,048 


700 


I 


96.5 


7.200 


59 . 870 


8.32 


2, 500 


1936 


925 


770 




92. 


2,U03 


17 .bbO 


7.35 


2,000 


1935 


898 


500 


5 


96.75 


5,092 


3^. 275 


7.12 


1.500 


1936 


900 


800 


b 


96.125 


'*.250 


28,958 


b . gl 


3,500 


1935 


1 .069 


700 


7 


89-5 


2,220 


lU, 730 


b.b 3 


800 


1935 


745 


600 


8 


>5n. S 


2. 230 


l'*.575 


b.pt 


15 


— 


— 




9 


95-99 


3.395 


21 . 1*75 


S.33 

5-74 


3.000 


— 


- 


— 


10 


81. 5 


3. 200 




4.000 £j 








11 


at c 

83.5 


2,178 


11 ,980 


5.50 


2,000 


1933 


190 2j 


50 


18 


93.25 


3.755 


20, 300 


c In 
5.41 


500 


1935 


1,052 


900 


]l 


87. 


'^■920 


2h, 300 


11 oil 


200 


193't 


800 


350 


m 


9b. 


U,700 


22,790 


4,85 


P ,000 


1936 


800 


700 


15 


35. 


3,600 


17 . 200 


4.78 


1 ,000 


1935 


1,000 


700 


lb 


95. 2 


5.323 


2^,912 


h Co 

t.b8 


4,000 Z/ 


1936 


liCiO 


700 


17 


99. 


11,675 


53.903 


'♦.b2 


200 


1935 




300 


18 


98. 


D,b70 


28 , 675 


4. 30 


7.500 


1935 


970 


575 


19 


95.5 


U , U90 


19.256 


4. 29 


1,000 


1935 


900 


600 


20 


82.5 


2.553 


10 , 5'+^ 


4.13 




— 


~ 


— 


21 


92. 


5.750 


23.'K)0 


4.07 


2, 500 


1935 


1.105 


750 


22 


70. 


2,200 


8.555 


3.89 


750 


1936 


1. 125 


900 


23 


93. 


7 ,580 


28,550 


3-77 


125 


1935 


932 


600 


2U 


90. 


6.700 


25. 250 


3-77 


5,000 


1936 


715 


715 


25 


92. 


2,870 


10,075 


3.51 


500 


1935 


745 


350 


2b 


96.5 


4, iHb 


lU, 250 


5. 44 


1,000 


1936 


850 


600 


27 


S3. 


5.100 


17.380 


3.41 


1,500 


1935 


885 


600 


28 


95- 


11,500 


39.020 


3-39 


3,000 


1930 


2, 100 


200 


29 


95-125 


U,250 


1^^.175 


3.34 


150 


1935 


997 


800 


30 


92. 


3.338 


11.165 


3.34 


50 


1932 


cA 7y 
50 11 


40 


31 


88. 


2.559 


8.530 


3-33 


soo 


1936 


880 


600 


32 


80. 


3,100 


10, 298 


3-32 


1 ,400 


1936 


1 ,015 


yuu 


33 


99. 


9.215 


30,100 


3-27 


3.500 


1934 


1,000 


700 


3'* 


96.56 


11+, 025 


'*3.775 


3.12 


3,500 £/ 


1935 


1,000 


600 


35 


9b. 


6,095 


18,885 


3.10 


1 . 500 


1935 


986 


opt) 


3o 


95. 


5.190 


15,760 


5.o4 


800 


1935 


Dlt; 


bUU 


37 


92.25 


3,500 


10,635 


3.'J4 


400 


1930 


935 


ff IK 

835 


38 


76. 


2,200 


b,b25 


1 AT 

3.01 


700 


IP IS 


'i2'i 3/ 


400 


39 


92. 


9.8^^2 


29.330 


c, yo 


3.700 


1936 


1,000 


850 


40 


99. 


16, 880 


1*9.750 


2.95 


2.500 6/ 


1935 


830 


600 


111 


90. 


6.939 


18,480 


2.65 


500 








U2 






ii.iUo 


2.37 


4oo 








'^3 


90. 


7.100 


l6!780 


2.36 


1,500 


1936 


1.059 


1.000 




98. 


6,358 


14, 600 


2.30 


3.500 


1935 


660. 


400 


^5 


81. 


2.300 


5.199 


2.26 


2.000 2/ 


1936 


900 


800 


1*6 


90.25 


2,656 


5 ■'+25 


2.04 


500 


1935 


265 J/ 


150 


U7 


88.7 


5.^25 


10,710 


1.9^ 


300 


1936 


^♦15 3/ 


4oo 


48 


90. 


13,600 


25.561 


1.88 


2,200 


1936 


926 


900 


H9 


98. 


9.560 


17,4Uo 


1.82 


1,200 


1935 


1.155 


500 


50 


96- 


3.880 


6,908 


1.78 


600 








51 




9.180 


14,360 


1.56 


700 6/ 








52 


90. 


7.951 


6 250 


.79 


3.000 




1,100 


500 


53 


85.5 


2.500 


1.798 


.72 


100 


1935 


25 11 


25 


5'* 


93. 


12,1*00 


3.67c 


.30 


1.500 


1935 


890 


550 



1/ Homes teaderc' own estiiates, adjusted for major Inconsistencies as to value of land between 

estimates of neighbors. 

2/ House under construction. 

3/ Bought secondhand. 

4/ No Inforniatlon. 

5/ No separate residence. 

6/ House on old home farm, not on homestead. 



- 84 - 



7-511 
(October 1937) 



(Name) 



UNITED STATES 
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR 

BUREAU OF RECLAMATION 

Irrigation Project — — 



(Name) 



Division 



Farm Application Blank 



(State) 



of 



(Full Dame) 
(Post ofiBce address) 



hereby apply for one of the farm units described below: 



NUMBER IN 
PRIORITY 
OF CHOICE 


DESCRIPTION 


AREA 


IBBIQABLE AREA 


1 








2 








3 















or any other available farm unit, in the event none of the above-described farm units are available. 

In proof of my fitness and qualifications to undertake the development of a farm unit, I submit the answers to the following 
questions: 

1. Are you qualified to make entry for public land under the homestead laws? 

2. Have you a full homestead right? _ 

3. Are you a citizen of the United States? — 

(a) Native Born? (b) Naturalize*? 



(c) If not, have you declared your intention to become a citizen? 

4. Do you claim a preference right as an ex-service man under joint resolution of January 21, 1922 (42 Stat., 358)? 



Note.— If answer is "Yes." Ihere should bo attached an affidavit setting forth rour military service, which shall state the time of service, the unit of which you 
were a member, the date on which you were honorably discharged, sep:irated or transferred to the regular Army or Naval Reserve, and that you did not refuse to 
wear the uniform of such service or "to perform the duties thereof. There shall bo attached to the affidavit a copy of your honorable discharge or separation from the 
service or the order of transfer to the regular Army or Naval Reserve, as the case may be, which copy shall be certified by a notary public to be a true copy of the original. 



5. Do you claim a preference right as the result of being a successful contestant of an existing entry? 
Note.— If answer is "Yes," attach a statement of the contest claim, giving a description of the land by section, township, and range. 



6. What is your present occupation? 



7. What has been your occupation during the past five years? 



- 85 - 



8. What is your age? 

9. How many years of fanning experience have you had and how recently? 

(a) Irrigation farming, st&ting whether fruit, dairy, etc. — 

(b) Dry farming 

(c) Humid farming - ,. 

(d) Have you had any experience in handling dairy cows or other livestock in connection with your farming experience? 



10. What is your sex? 

(a) Are you single? (b) Married? (c) If married man, what experience has your wife had in 

farm life? _ 

(d) If married woman, are you the head of a family? ; (e) Is your wife now willing to go on a farm? 

11. What are the sex and age of your children? 



12. Have you any other dependents? If so, give particulars 



13. What is the condition of your health? That of your wife? 

14. Do you own a farm at present? 

(a) Where located? — 

(b) What value? $ ; (c) Amount of incumbrance, $ 

(d) What amount can you borrow upon it? $ 



15. Give names and addresses of three citizens, who are not related to you, as references, who have known you for at 
least five (6) years: 



NAME 


ADDRESS 


OCCUPATION 


1 - ...^ 






2 








3 















NoTK.— It is understood and agreed by the applicant that information furnished the United States, in writing or otherwise, by either or all of the above-named 
persons given as references, shall be held and treated by the person and by the United States as confidential, and the applicant, for himself and his successors and 
assigns, bsreby waives any right which be might have or claim to have for damages or otherwise against any of the said persons on account of the information so 
(urmsbed by them to the United States. 

(.2) 



- 86 - 



16. List your present assets in the following table: 









Cows 






Hor«e8 






Sheep - _ 






Hogs - _ 
























* Securities, (stocks, bonds, etc.) 






Implements, (list kind and value) 




























- — 




















♦Other assets, (list timberland, city property, etc.) 


















Less Liabilities: 


Total Assets ___ 


$ 


tCftl Mortcrases and/or notes 


$ 


$ 


t(b) Other debts _ $ 


Total Liabilities 




$ 







• If yon have assets In the nature o( "Seguritles " or "Other Assets, etc.," listed above you should attach a brief Itemlied statement of what these assets are and 
their market value. 

t If mortgages or other debts exceed $600 a statement should be attached showing the amount of the debts, when due, Interest rates, and how you Intend to pay sams. 



17. Have you personally examined the land appUed for? 

18. Have you ascertained the charges due on this land? .. 

19. Remarks, including your reasons for desiring to farm: 



20. Would you accept any other available farm unit if not successful in obtaining one of your first three selections? 



Witness: 



(One witness required) 



(Signature of applicant) 



(Date) 



19 



(Address) 



(3) 



- 87 - 



NOTE.— THIS PAGE IS NOT TO BE WRITTEN ON BY APPLICANT 

UNITED STATES 
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR 

BUREAU OF RECLAMATION 

IRRIGATION Project 



(Name) 



(State) 



Soldier \ 
Civilian/ 



(Name) 



Division 



Report on Farm Application 

Division, — Project, Application No. 

Date of application Date received 

Date applicant appeared before board, 

Applicant's name Adflress , 

RATING 

Initialed (in red ink) by Board members; 



Industry 

Farm experience- 
Character 

Capital 

Total.. 



% 
% 
% 
% 
% 



This application is jdisa.ppiw'ed F^f™ "^it , containi 

irrigable acres, is awarded to applicant at meeting of Board held at 

State of on the day of 



ing 



., 19. 



(Secretary of Board) 



Applicant notified of {^PP/p^.^al} "'^ - '^^y °^ 

application received on day of 

Noted on water-rental application on day of 

on day of _ _ , 19_ 



, 19 Water-rental 

_, 19 , accompanied by S— 

, 19 , and retu«i8d to appiicaot 



Homestead entry made day of ^ _ , 19 

(4) 



- 88 - 



STATEMENT OF FARM APPLICANT'S QUALIFICATIONS 
UNITED STATES 

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR 
BUREAU OF RECLAMATION 

PROJECT 



(The person to whom this farm is sent is requested to answer as fully as possible all the questions hereon. Avoid 
any allusion to politics, religion, or fraternal orders. The completed form should be returned as promptly as possible 
to the official named on the back o this form in the inclosed "Penalty" envelope.) 

STATEMENT OF PERSON NAMED AS REFERENCE 

I hereby certify that I am more than. 21 years of age; that my occupation is 

; that for years I have known 

the applicant named hereon ; and that the answers to the following questions with respect to him are 
true and correct to the best of my knowledge and behef . 

1. What is the apphcant's occupation? 

2. What farming experience has he had? . 

3. Has he been successful as a farmer? 

4. Is he industrious? 5. Is the appHcant, in your opinion, qualified to undertake the 

development of a homestead on a Federal irrigation project? 6. Is the appUcant 

responsible to the extent that he discharges his obligations promptly? 

7. What is his general reputation and standing in the community in which he resides? 

8. How have you obtained your knowledge of the applicant with respect to the information which you 

have given in this certificate? 



9. Are you related to the applicant? If so, state relationship 

10. Add any other facts relative to his fitness to undertake the development of a farm on a Federal 

irrigation project 



7-514 
(April 1937) 



(Signature of reference) 
(Post office address) . 



Date _ , 19.